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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Andrew Clark and VaLyn Sorensen, two of Utah's weight-loss success stories, hold up old pants. Clark lost 40 pounds, and Sorensen lost 100 pounds.
New year, new you: Two Utahns lose weight, gain confidence

Fashion » Two Utahns show off their new figures, share tips for success.

By Krista Nielson

For | The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jan 26 2012 01:01 am • Last Updated Jan 30 2012 10:07 am

Just about now, you need some inspiration.

The motivation you had at the beginning of January to eat better, exercise, lose some weight has waned — or maybe even disappeared.

At a glance

New You fashions

All the clothes, shoes and accessories in today’s photographs are from Macy’s. Makeup by Estee Lauder.

VaLyn Sorensen

Formal look » Metallic sweater ($79) and black pencil skirt ($84) both by Jones of NY. Patent leather pumps ($60) by Guess. Jewelry ($19-$26.) by Style & Co.

Casual look » Turquoise ombre cowl ($54) by Elements; skinny jeans ($114) by Not Your Daughters Jeans; platform penny loafer ($60) by Fisher; teardrop earrings ($15) by M. Haskell; and bling cocktail ring ($20) by Style & Co.

Andrew Clark

Formal look » pinstripe suit ($400) by Ralph Lauren (only coat is shown in photo); sky blue dress shirt ($15) by Izod; and black loafers ($80) by Kenneth Cole Reaction.

Casual » checked hoodie ($59), flannel button up ($39) and red v-neck tee ($10) all by American Rag. Slip-on sneakers ($50) by Polo.

Tell us your success story

I Have you reached a fitness or health goal that might inspire others? Have you quit smoking, lost weight, lowered your cholesterol? Let us know what inspired you and the steps you took to reach the goal. Email features@sltrib.com and put “Success Story” in the subject line. Please include a first and last name, city of residence, age, occupation and a daytime telephone number in case we have questions. (Numbers will not be published.) A healthy cooking or fitness book awaits those whose stories are selected for publication.

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VaLyn Sorensen and Andrew Clark have been in your shoes and know what you’re going through.

They agreed to share their weight-loss success stories — and show off their new figures in some trendy clothes from Macy’s — to inspire you to stay the course.

VaLyn Sorensen

Who • 32-year-old pharmacy technician from Garland, in Box Elder County

What • Lost more than 100 pounds and five dress sizes

How • Exercising, eating healthy, avoiding refined sugars and joining Smith’sFit, an employee wellness program at Smith’s Food & Drug where she works. It is a 16-week program where teams of co-workers have weekly weigh-ins and compete against other teams for incentive dollars and prizes. VaLyn was on a winning team and won a trip to Los Angeles where she attended the season finale taping of "The Biggest Loser."

Motivation • "My dad died of pancreatic and liver cancer, and before he died I promised him I would get healthy. I also keep a photo on my phone of when I was bigger. That adds extra motivation to get me to the gym."

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Life changes • "I always think of the consequences of my food choices. When I ate bad I never felt satisfied, but by eating healthy and exercising it was amazing how much better I felt."

What she gave up • Chips. Now she snacks on raw almonds, fruits and vegetables. And no more late-night eating, nothing after 9 p.m.

Wardrobe challenges • VaLyn does not have much to wear right now. She is still shedding pounds and not yet at her ideal weight so she doesn’t want to invest in new clothes that will soon be too big. Finding the proper fit is a challenge. "The most frustrating thing is every style and brand fits different, so I never actually know what will fit."

Looking forward to • "Skinny jeans, I would definitely wear them now. When my arms get more toned I would love to wear tank tops outside of the gym or my house. I always wore things big so I could hide my weight; now I embrace it."

Tip • "Always work out even if you don’t feel like it, I promise you will feel better the whole day. Never deprive yourself of something you want, just eat a little then move on."

Philosophy • "Never say you ‘lost’ weight; if you lose something it may find its way back to you. If you ‘shed’ pounds, you get rid of them forever. If you fall off the wagon one day, remember it’s just one day, get back on and enjoy the ride."

Andrew Clark

Who • 25-year-old financial lender and University of Utah student from Salt Lake City

What • Lost 40 pounds in three months

How • Participating in the Lean Body Transformation Challenge, sponsored by Bodybuilding.com. It includes weight training five to six times a week, seven small meals per day with whole foods, nutritional supplements and his self-made recovery shakes. Andrew won the body transformation challenge grand prize — a cruise for two to Cozumel, Mexico.

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