The Best Weight Loss Stories from the Web

Five people who used the internet to improve their health, shed pounds, and inspire others

December 20, 2012
Shawn Weeks, Melanie Shafranek, Ed Fackler
1/12 Courtesy of Shawn Weeks, Melanie Shafranek, Ed Fackler

Spending hours in front of the computer can be a huge detriment to our health, contributing to our already overly sedentary lives. But for some, however, logging on has proven to be the secret to losing weight. Read on to discover how they used blogs, YouTube, and social media to drop major pounds. (You can lose big too! Check out these Weight Loss Tips that Actually Work)

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Ed Fackler before
2/12 Courtesy of Ed Fackler
He used to eat 6,000 calories a day

Overeating and a mostly inactive lifestyle added up to 392 pounds for Ed Fackler. He says he would typically consume around 6,000 calories a day. (Search: How many calories should you eat a day?) Finally, after struggling to keep up with his friends on an outdoor retreat, Ed decided to shed his unhealthy habits--and his excess baggage.

Free Guide: Cut 500 Calories

Ed Fackler after
3/12 Courtesy of Ed Fackler
Now he broadcasts his weight loss progress on YouTube

Ed decided to use YouTube as a video diary to hold himself accountable--and it's worked. Thanks to a new workout regimen and healthy eating habits, Ed's dropped 133 pounds. He's closing in on his goal to lose 215 pounds total.

Find out how he did it!

Shawn Tyler Weeks before
4/12 Courtesy of Shawn Tyler Weeks
He used to drink 10 Mountain Dews a day

Overindulging in soda, fast food, and video games caused Sean Tyler Weeks' weight to eventually creep up to 344 pounds. Then one day an embarrassing encounter with a fast-food attendant encouraged him to slim down. 

Video: She Transformed her Body after Losing Nearly 300 Pounds

Shawn Tyler Weeks after
5/12 Courtesy of Shawn Tyler Weeks
Now others visit his blog for advice

As soon as Shawn decided to lose weight, he began blogging about it at Writing about his experience and garnering a devoted following gave him the encouragement he needed to drop 136 pounds.

Find out how he did it!

Dani Holmes-Kirk before
6/12 Courtesy of Dani Holmes-Kirk
A Halloween photo scared her into getting in shape

Despite working out regularly, Dani Holmes-Kirk racked up pounds by routinely pigging out on unhealthy foods. She topped out at 217. Then on Halloween she glimpsed an unflattering photo of herself, and realized she had to do something about her health.

The Most Inspiring Weight Loss Stories of 2012

Dani Holmes-Kirk after
7/12 Courtesy of Dani Holmes-Kirk
Now she’s 62 pounds lighter, thanks to a social media support system

Two days after her Halloween revelation, Dani joined Weight Watchers. With the program's help and the connections she made through her blog,, she's a svelte 155 pounds today.

Find out how she did it!

Melanie Shafranek before
8/12 Courtesy of Melanie Shafranek
She used to think weight loss was impossible

Melanie Shafranek, who had always been overweight, had almost given up on dieting. Over the years a lack of exercise and reckless eating moved the scale to 234 pounds.

10 Ways to Lose 20 Pounds

Melanie Shafranek after
9/12 Courtesy of Melanie Shafranek
Now she inspires others with her Tumblr

With encouragement from her parents, Melanie joined Jenny Craig, where she learned how to control her portions. She ultimately dropped 90 pounds, and used her Tumblr to document her dramatic transformation.

Find out how she did it!

Beth Klein before
10/12 Courtesy of Beth Klein
Bad eating habits and lack of exercise led her to gain 250 pounds

Overeating and a sedentary lifestyle caused Beth Klein to hit 250 pounds as a college student. She says she would let herself get so hungry that she would overdo it at every meal. After years of brushing off her weight, Beth's doctor confronted her about it during an annual exam. Soon after, Beth made her new year's resolution to get healthy.

20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

Beth Klein after
11/12 Courtesy of Beth Klein
Now she shares her weight loss success on her blog

Once she committed to her health, Beth quit smoking, joined a gym, and started Weight Watchers. To stay motivated, she began blogging about her experience at She's dropped 76 pounds and continues to use her blog as a place to connect with others on diet and fitness.

Find out how she did it!

woman stepping on scale
12/12 Hilmar Hilmar
Do You Have an Inspiring Weight Loss Story?

If you dropped pounds and got in shape, we want to hear about it. Send us your story and photos, and you may appear in a future slideshow.

Yes, I want to inspire others!