By Vanessa Lynch, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsFebruary 28, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - No diet pills. No tricks. No hocus-pocus. Just good old-fashioned walking.
That's how Julie Totive, military spouse and mother of five, managed to drop eight dress sizes and almost 60 pounds in six months, here.
"I'm not a group workout type of person, and the gym is not for me," Totive said. "I walk two hours a day, everyday, no matter what the weather is."
Because of her weight loss, Totive was recently featured in the Jan. 31 issue of "Women's World" magazine.
After losing control over her weight, Totive took action.
"No one can tell me to control my weight but me," she said. "Walking gave me back that control. When I'm walking it's my 'me' time."
While surfing the Internet one day, an ad popped up asking for diet testers. Thinking nothing of it, Totive signed up. Much to her surprise, weeks later, she was contacted by the magazine to participate in the diet test.
Out of the 2,600 applicants, Totive was one of eight people selected to be a diet tester. After losing 12 pounds - the most weight lost in the group during the one-week test period - the magazine opted to feature her.
"I'm not skinny; I'm just a normal person," she said. "But, during the photo shoot, I felt like a model. When I saw the pictures, I looked like a supermodel, like I belonged in a magazine."
Part of her motivation to lose weight came when her husband, Staff Sgt. Simoa Totive, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, "Gimlets," 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, deployed last June.
Although she kept him in the loop about her weight loss, Totive said, when her husband came home for rest and recuperation during the holidays, he couldn't believe her transformation.
"He nearly had a heart attack when he saw me," she said.
Totive said the best part about losing all the weight is gaining her self-confidence back.
"I feel good that I don't have to hide behind my kids in pictures anymore, and that I can buy clothes off the rack," she said. "If I can do this, anyone can.
"It's all about taking back control over your life and having the determination to make a change and stick with it," she added.