Over the years, Beth Hodges probably has lost more than 1,000 pounds — the same ones over and over again.

Even her mother told her she wouldn’t be able to lose weight, pointing out that her family members were just big people. Hodges said she weighed 100 pounds when she was eight and “it went up from there. It was horrible.”

She notes she was very active in high school. “I was a majorette but I was the fat majorette,” she admits.

It wasn’t that she didn’t try to lose weight. “I tried everything, all the weight programs. Nothing worked for me.”

That is, until she tried NutriSystem. In February of 2005, she saw advertisements for the weight loss program and decided to try it — what did she have to lose but the weight itself?

Now 98 pounds lighter, she reached her goal in March of this year and went below that goal in June. No more fat clothes in Hodges’ life. She got rid of all of them — except for one shirt that serves as a reminder of her old life.

Hodges said the program made it easy for her. You eat five times a day — three meals and two snacks.

“You choose your fruits and vegetables, salads and milk from the store,” she explained, adding she also drinks diet sodas.

When the weight loss goal has been attained, you wean yourself off, she said.

Hodges explained it’s about portion control and will power. “I can’t control a lot of things in my life but I can control what I put in my mouth,” she said.

The program also encourages its participants to exercise — and Hodges does just that. She goes to Curves in McAlester six days a week. “I’m dedicated,” she smiled.

She says her husband, Danny, is so proud of her. “He tells me ‘you had the mindset and you accomplished it.’”

There’s another reason to be proud of Hodges’ accomplishment.

She entered NutriSystem’s Sexy Summer Slimdown contest on a whim. And out of more than 170 entries, she was chosen as one of the top five. The more than 19,000 voting members chose Hodges as their number three pick. Her prize was $500.

But even better than that — Hodges was called a couple of weeks ago to go to Philadelphia for a photo shoot. “None of the other top five had a photo shoot,” she said. That mean’s there’s a possibility that she could be used as one of the program’s national spokespersons.

Hodges was so emotional during the photo shoot, she said, tears kept welling up in her eyes. “I saw my pictures,” she said, and she wanted to cry. Those in charge of photo shoot had to keep telling her to wait. “After it was over, they said, ‘go ahead and cry.’”

It has been an emotional time for Hodges but well worth all her hard work. “I had the will power do it. There’s no excuse to be heavy again.

“I battled it and I won and I’m so happy I did,” she said.

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