How Three Washingtonians Lost Weight and Have Kept It Off

Their techniques varied from a change in diet to a three-month fitness challenge.

After photograph by Andrew Propp. Before photography courtesy of Artley.

Will Artley

Before: 330 pounds
After: 245 pounds
Height: Five-foot-ten

How he did it: In June, the executive chef at Falls Church’s Pizzeria Orso entered a three-month weight-loss challenge against other local chefs to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Although he was the heaviest competitor at the start, Artley, 36, lost the most weight thanks to 5 am workouts that involved either a six-mile run, a 30-mile bike ride, or a one-mile swim. He also ditched late-night drinking for more sleep. “People will constantly find excuses why they can’t work out,” says Artley, who plans to run the DC Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon in March. “It’s all about finding the willpower.”

After photograph by Andrew Propp. Before photography courtesy of Coaston.

Jane Coaston

Before: 265 pounds
After: 170 pounds
Height: Five-foot-eight

How she did it: In college, Coaston’s diet consisted of cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “It really wasn’t healthful at all,” she says. Coaston later learned about the Paleo diet, which promotes meat, seafood, vegetables, and nuts while eliminating dairy, grains, beans, and processed foods. Cutting carbs and sugars from her meals helped her go from a size 10 to a 6 in the past year. “It’s taken a really long time,” says Coaston, now 26 and press secretary for an environmental organization. But the weight loss “has been the biggest success of my life.”

After photograph by Andrew Propp. Before photography courtesy of Fiore.

David Fiore

Before: 183 pounds
After: 163 pounds
Height: Five-foot-ten

How he did it: Fiore, 53, used to end his gym workouts without breaking a sweat. “Trainers would tell me, ‘You chat—a lot,’ ” Fiore says. Eventually, the federal employee realized that his lack of structure—plus his love of cheese and pasta—had caused his weight to spiral out of control. He signed up for personal-training sessions and group classes with two coworkers, limited his alcohol intake, and started a gluten-free and minimal-dairy diet. He lost one pound each week and now exercises Monday through Friday plus sometimes on the weekend. “The secret to success is making it a priority,” Fiore says. “I just feel good.”

This article appears in the February 2014 issue of Washingtonian.