1. Create a support network. "I hit rock bottom," Chelsea says. "I was sick and tired of looking in the mirror every day and hating what I would see—and sick of not loving myself. I had to admit to myself that I had a problem. For the first time in my life, I told my family, friends, and boyfriend that I had an emotional binge-eating issue, and I think even just saying that out loud, and not having it be a secret anymore, helped me."
2. Find activities you absolutely love. "It doesn't matter whether it's hiking, swimming, running, biking, or group classes," Chelsea says. "The important thing is that you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, you won't want to keep doing it!"
3. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet—but be sneaky about it. "Try to find healthy alternatives to foods that you enjoy," Chelsea says. "I have recently found that I love to use sliced, sautéed squash as a substitute for pasta. Now I can make low-calorie versions of all of my favorite pasta dishes." Along the same lines, she's also come up with an alternate recipe for chocolate ice cream: In a food processor, blend two frozen bananas with a scoop of chocolate whey protein powder. "It is sooo good!"
4. Be patient and celebrate small successes. Weight loss isn't quick and it isn't easy. "One bad meal didn't make you put the weight on," Chelsea says, "and one workout isn't going to take it off." This one is equally true for runners. "Becoming a long distance runner doesn't not happen overnight. Pace yourself and keep taking small steps to reach your next goal."