Name: Kay Zimmerman

Age: 40

City: San Lorenzo

At some point, I just accepted that I was never going to be skinny. I wasn't happy about it, but it seemed to be my lot in life. Maxing out at 5 feet and not quite an inch, with a round face, expressive eyes and a big smile, I figured I'd have to settle for "cute" and "sweet," albeit a little bit chubby. Soon after I hit puberty, I settled into a size 10 and figured this was how it was meant to be. At some point, I accepted that it was simply my genes that dictated my roundness.

Many years later, after giving birth to my son, and especially after weaning him, my weight slowly crept up and I became more and more unhappy with my size.

I am a high school teacher and after one of my students innocently described me as "chubby," I knew something needed to change. My chiropractor suggested that I buy a book titled "The Happy Body." It was written by a couple who had been Olympic weightlifters, and it laid out an exercise and eating plan to transform my not-so-happy body into a leaner, more flexible, more youthful version of itself. The diet requires you to eat every three hours, five times a day. You eat a certain amount of calories based on your target weight and most of the food you eat is protein and produce. Each meal is small and lunch and dinner are one part protein to about three parts vegetable.

In the summer of 2011, after decompressing from another challenging school year, I decided to fully embrace "The Happy Body." I was determined to change my ways before I turned 40 (I was 38 at the time). Once I began seeing results, after the first couple of weeks, I was hooked. I had faith that this was going to work. The beauty of the program is the combination of a simple set of daily exercises with hand weights that take about 20-40 minutes (depending where you're at in the process) and a straightforward approach to eating that is relatively easy to follow.

The result is not only weight loss, but a more fit, trim and flexible body as well. Amazingly, I lost 40 pounds in about 8 months. I had accomplished something that I had always thought was impossible.

I had been a yoga student for about 10 years before my weight loss. Once my body changed -- and my confidence -- I began teaching yoga as well. My approach to classroom teaching changed, too. My entire way of being in the world shifted.

After experiencing what I call the "magic" of "The Happy Body" experience, I started to believe that anything really was possible.

share your journey

Have you lost a significant amount of weight, or did you finally lose those stubborn last 10 pounds? If so, we'd like to hear your story. Tell us in 400 words or less about your weight loss journey. Send your stories to aharris@bayareanewsgroup.com with the subject line "weight loss story." Include your name, age and city and a contact phone number. Also, send before and after pictures in JPG format, if available.