Holt: Working mom pays it forward after losing 95 pounds

BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. - Erica Rezac weighed her heaviest on her wedding day, Feb. 13, 2010. Now she's 95 pounds lighter and says she feels like a whole new person.

Erica Rezac, before and after
Left: Erica Rezac at a family gathering in Kent, Minn., in April 2010. Right: Rezac on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, in February 2012. Special to The Forum

BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. - Erica Rezac weighed her heaviest on her wedding day, Feb. 13, 2010. Now she's 95 pounds lighter and says she feels like a whole new person.

The 31-year-old mother of two wasn't always overweight. She was thin during high school in Wahpeton, N.D. The pounds started creeping on after she took a job at a local gas station. "You just eat what's there," she says.

After her daughter, Ellie, was born, she decided to do something about it. On Feb. 4, 2011, Erica started Weight Watchers. She lost 4 pounds the first week, then 8 by the end of the first month.

She found a weight-loss buddy in a co-worker and joined an online support group.

Now she's "paying it forward" by helping others reach their own goals. The Facebook group she started has more than 100 members, and she frequently posts words of encouragement on the page.


The online support provides accountability as well as camaraderie, which helps keep her going, especially on more difficult days.

Erica will tell you the same thing I say when people ask me about losing weight: It's hard. "If it were easy, everybody would be skinny," she says.

Her biggest piece of advice? Don't give up! "I wouldn't be here today if I'd given up," she says.

With a husband, two young children and a full-time job, finding time to exercise can be a challenge, but Erica knows she'll be a better wife, mother and employee if she takes care of herself, too.

"I have to just do this for me," she says.

Counting Weight Watchers points has become second nature for Erica. She tracks what she eats online, but she says she could go a day without tracking and still know exactly where she's at.

She wrote in a blog post: "I don't cheat. If I put it in my mouth, I count it."

Erica still makes the same meals she used to cook, she just finds different ways to prepare them, and if she wants a treat, she'll have it - just not all of it. She's learned that a bite or two is enough to satisfy her cravings.


Erica has always wanted to run a 5K but kept that "secret goal" to herself until recently. Now she's hitting the pavement in preparation for the Fargo Marathon 5K on May 18.

"I was just determined I wanted to do this," she says.

Shedding the weight has made day-to-day activities easier, like running after her 3-year-old son, Tucker, or sitting her daughter on her lap to put her coat on before going outside.

Erica has celebrated other "non-scale victories" along the way: being able to pull on a pair of high boots over her jeans, resizing her wedding ring 2½ sizes smaller, wearing cute sundresses on vacation in Mexico.

Those little moments help keep her motivated.

Along the way, family, friends and people she's never met have told Erica she's an inspiration. "I'm finally starting to believe it," she says.

Do you have a weight-loss story to tell? Email me at .

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590


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