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40 lbs. Down! Meet Transform YOU Winner Karen LaPlant

Karen LaPlant won more than a Sharecare essay contest during her journey on Transform YOU: She got her confidence back during the free, 12-week weight loss program and discovered what a healthy lifestyle truly means. What’s more, she kept doing Transform YOU and is still on it today! We recently sat down with Karen to learn about her transformation.
 
Sharecare: How much weight have you lost so far?
Karen: I am currently down 42 pounds. When I started, I wore a size 18 in pants and dresses. I now wear a size 12. My shirts were all 2X.  Now, I wear a large or extra-large in regular clothes. My ultimate goal is to be in a comfortable size 8.  It will happen this year.  
 
Sharecare: How did the daily nutrition tips on Transform YOU change the way you eat?
Karen: Before the program, I lived the all-American buffet and super-size was my world. But I've learned to enjoy much healthier foods like quinoa, kale, hummus, zucchini, squash, peppers and cherry tomatoes -- and I like all of them.
 
Sharecare: How did the online, social aspects of this program help you?
Karen: They made me accountable and still do. I enjoy seeing others succeed in their transformation, sharing things about myself and reading what others have shared. You realize quickly that you are not alone on this journey.
 
Sharecare: Beyond being thinner, what other ways do you think you transformed?
Karen: Transform YOU helped me feel good about myself. I have always been a confident person, but on the inside I was ashamed and embarrassed of my appearance. I would make jokes about myself before anyone else would. Not anymore! I've also learned to not set crazy, unrealistic goals -- I take it one day at a time.
 
Sharecare: You’re still doing David Buer’s workouts months after “completing” the program. Why?
Karen: Over the years, I have attended classes, tried videos and did various exercises. I started strong and quit -- every single time. It was always too hard. But David talks about how important it is to get form right, even if you can’t do all the exercises. So for a while I just did what I could, the right way. Now I'm striving to do all of the exercises.
 
Sharecare: Are you doing any other exercise beside those strength-building workouts?
Karen: For the last three months I saved my money to buy an elliptical machine. Right before Christmas I got it! I also built myself a gym and currently have a treadmill, recumbent bike and weight benches to go with my new elliptical machine. I've exceeded five miles or more per day for 165 days in a row.
I sincerely want to thank Sharecare and David Buer from the bottom of my heart. You have all changed my life. After all these years, I finally get it!
 
Learn more about the 2014 Transform YOU contest winners.