PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dieting with friends on Facebook, strangers helping strangers lose weight. One group started by a South Jersey mom, has some impressive success stories. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the slimmed down friends.
It might look funny, but Joanna Czerw does her hair and squats at the same time. Always being on the move has helped this 26-year-old lose 80 pounds.
“When I got on the scale it was about 208 or 9 and that’s when I said oh no I need to do something about this,” said Joanna.
In pictures, she looks completely different. It’s taken three years, and she’s finally able to ditch the old camouflage black pants.
“I hate them. I never want to see them again,” said Joanna. Now she shares her diet success tips on Facebook.
“I think Facebook is a great thing for a lot of people, especially if they don’t have the motivation. If they don’t have anybody to talk to,” said Joanna. She’s on a Facebook page started by Peggy Bradford who lost 75 pounds in a year.
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“People were constantly coming up to me and saying oh my God how did you do this? Nobody could believe that I did it without diet pills or a special diet. And everybody just kept saying you need to share your story and let other know,” said Peggy. She named her Facebook page “Steps To Good Health.”
“The minute I step out of bed I put my pedometer on,” said Peggy. She tries to take between 20,000 to 30,000 steps a day, and she carefully counts calories.
“I want to help other people. I want to share my story because I know there’s a lot of people out there that feel alone or you know feel challenged, and don’t know what to do about it,” said Peggy.
There is no specific diet or plan. Peggy now has over 100 members, who share successes and failures- like giving in to a piece of apple pie, and always words of encouragement.
“It’s everyday people so you can relate to that and that’s why I wanted to do this because I wanted it to be where people can relate to everyday people and feel comfortable and know it’s possible,” said Peggy.
“There’s everybody there to support you,” said Joanna.
One of Joanna’s favorite diet tricks, that she’s shared on Facebook, is a little peanut butter, protein, keeps her fuller longer. And now she’s wearing jeans that she’d proud to show off.
“Here’s me in my jeans. I love wearing jeans, love it,” said Joanna.
Diet experts say having a support system is a critical part of successful weight loss, and it’s especially good to have fellow dieters who know how difficult and frustrating it can be.
Peggy says her Facebook friends try to keep each other on track with the basics including counting calories, making good food choices and being really active.
If you’re not on Facebook, and would like to get in touch with Peggy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3