CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you've ever struggled with your weight you know how tough it can be to not only start to make changes, but to also stay motivated - even with the journey gets difficult.
I've been telling you for years about my efforts to get healthy on #TeamNOSugar - but it's not just me. I sat down with three women who may lead different lives but their struggles are the same.
For 40-year-old Tonya Little-Reid, a years-long struggle with weight began in her 20s.
"Struggled with weight loss for a long time. Not sure if it had a big part in it - had a hysterectomy when I was 28 and it was just so hard for me to lose weight," she recalled. "I would lose and I would gain. I would lose and I would gain."
Barbara Watson also struggled with the scale until she reached a tipping point last year.
"I started having health issues," she said. "I'm like, OK - I'm still young. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was having migraines."
Ronisey Vendrell's issues with weight led to feeling overwhelmed and like she would never be able to change.
"When you said you were a [size] 18 pushing 20 - I was there, she said. "I was in a dark place. But then you can't stay there. You have to be like something's gotta give."
Little-Reid felt the same way, especially after being on the merry-go-round of diets over the years.
"I've tried Atkins, I've tried everything - pretty much starving myself," she explained. "Until I saw your segment - no sugar and I said, 'I'm gonna do it'."
After hearing my story – I've lost 70lbs since starting #TeamNOSugar in 2013 - all three women decided to join the team and found a lifestyle they say works for them.
Little-Reid has been on #TeamNOSugar for about a year and a half and couldn't be prouder of her results.
"I was a size 18 pushing 20; [now] I'm a 10, tight [size] eight," she proclaimed. "So, it works for me."
While Watson's journey just started in September 2016, she's already seen great results and told me, "I've lost 27lbs!"
Vendrell has been practicing the lifestyle the longest; she started in January 2015 and revealed, "I've lost a totally of 106 lbs. From an 18 now I'm a 10."
But Watson points out it was about more than just a number on the scale and said, "it gives you energy. Because I go to the gym now about four or five times a week."
But her biggest accomplishment to-date? "I'm completely off blood pressure medicine and so I feel great and I just can't imagine not doing it," said Watson. "It just becomes habit now."
Habits, they once thought could never be the norm. "I never thought I could give up sweet tea", Watson said. "That's one thing I never thought. I don't even want it anymore."
In fact, all told me that their taste buds have adjusted and they don't miss the sugary treats and junk food the way they thought they would.
Vendrell added, "I had a piece of frosting on my finger the other day at work from a birthday party...I put it in my mouth, and oh my God, I thought I was going to die. I literally had to spit the frosting out. So many people say, 'oh I can't do that, 'Oh I gotta eat cake'. No you don't - you choose to eat cake."
Choices, they say, start with nutrition and they all believe eating the right foods is more than half the battle.
"I don't lose weight from running," Little-Reid said. "I lose weight from eating the right stuff."
They all admit to having their weak moments and falling off the wagon, but know that getting right back on track is key.
"We all fall off, I've fallen off," admitted Little-Reid. "It's all about discipline. My cheat day is Sunday and then I work even harder in the gym [the next day]."
They've also been able to make peace with the scale.
In fact, Little-Reid hasn't weighed herself since she started #TeamNOSugar.
"I don't step on the scale," she said. "I think it's depressing. Cause you expect to lose more, you're working hard at what you're doing. You expect to lose more - you feel like you've lost more and you haven't. So, I have not stepped on the scale in over two years. I go to the doctor and I say I don't want to know my weight."
Watson agrees with that but does weigh herself periodically. So does Vendrell who added, "I step on the scale every two weeks. It doesn't bother – I'm not afraid of the scale."
Their motivation now? Being an inspiration to others the way I once inspired them.
"I don't want to say I'm going to stop this in three months. I want to continue and continue to be an inspiration to other people," Watson said. "If I can do it. You can do it."
Vendrell agrees and said, "[Barbara] said the doctor took her off the medicine - that's why I do it. Because if you can tell me changing your eating habits and your doctor took you off the medicine - then this works. So that's means I can keep going."
Little-Reid kept her advice simple and said, "Try #TeamNOSugar. You have nothing to lose but weight."
For more information on #TeamNOSugar, click here.