Mary Lou Hoffman, 44
Lockport, New York
Mary Lou Hoffmans first experience with serious cycling wasnt exactly a successful one. She was 100 pounds overweight, and it took her several hours to make it through a 20-mile bike ride while vacationing in Maine four years ago. That fall, Hoffman dropped 50 pounds on Weight Watchers and wanted to find some kind of fitness activity to help her reach her goal weight. She immediately thought of cycling, not just for its calorie-burning benefits but because she figured she had something to prove. Hoffman started with a Spinning class, then began taking spins on her own silver road bike, easily hitting an impressive 18 miles an hour.
“I couldnt believe how great I felt,” Hoffman says. And shes been hooked ever since, riding around 150 miles a week (not to mention doing a couple of Spinning classes at the gym). At 5 feet 8 inches tall, Hoffman now weighs 178—a 100-pound loss. “Sometimes I look down at my legs and am surprised to see definition where there wasnt any before,” she says.
Hoffmans still 14 pounds from her goal, but she knows shell get there. “I cant believe this is me, that this is my body. Now I see that Im capable of so much more than I ever imagined. Its amazing.”