The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student on NW sheds 72 pounds in less than a year

By Shirlett Warren/nw news editor

Meike Scharf smiles as she shows off her new figure. She lost 72 pounds by making a conscious decision to start eating less and exercise regularly.
David Reid/The Collegian

Meike Scharf is much happier since losing 72 pounds.

In less than a year, the NW student went from a size 18/20 to a size eight. Her secret? Simply eating less food.

“I eat a lot less,” she said. “The thing is, I was just always eating and [I was] eating crap.”

Scharf, a wife and mother of two small children, is a German native.

“I worked in sales for seven or eight years, and then I had a baby.”

She visited America on many occasions, but she and her husband moved to the U.S. when he took a job that relocated their family to Texas. She started taking classes at TCC last spring.

“I was going through a lot of stress then,” she said. “For about two weeks, I didn’t eat very much, and I lost 15 pounds.”

After her stress level decreased, Scharf said she liked it when the weight came off, so she made a decision to keep eating less food.

“I didn’t take any pills or join any weight loss program,” she said. “Programs don’t work for me. What works for me is eating less and exercising.”

Scharf said the pounds really fell away when she and a friend started walking three miles a day in her neighborhood last summer.

“Now I run the three miles,” she said.

Joshua Tarbay, health physical education assistant professor and faculty sponsor of NW Campus’ Biggest Loser Club, said Scharf’s approach to weight loss is ideal.

“Any nutritionist will tell you to set attainable goals, something nice and easy,” he said. “The first step is to eat less destructively. Then, start working 20-30 minutes of light activity into your schedule every day.”

Many people set unrealistic goals and get discouraged when they don’t see immediate success, Tarbay said.

“More than anything, patience is the key,” he said. “Food is not like cigarettes. You can’t quit food cold turkey because you have to eat. You have to work into developing healthier habits.”

Scharf makes healthier eating choices a priority, but she’s not following a particular nutritional program. She still likes to eat pizza, but instead of eating an entire pizza she’ll simply have a slice or two, she said.

“I still eat peanut butter cups,” she said. “But I’ll just eat one, not five.”

And even though Scharf has lived in Texas for seven years, she’s never had Southern-fried chicken.

“I want to try it one day. I hear it’s good,” she said.

Most of the time she opts for nuts, carrot sticks and raisins as snacks.

“Even though I’m eating less, I still eat a lot. I’m tall. I’m 5-foot-9, so I need my energy,” she said.

Scharf recently posted a current photo of herself on Facebook, and within hours, she received dozens of responses on her transformation and more than 60 “likes.” People were amazed.

“You look FANTASTIC!! Great motivation for me,” one friend said.

Happy to have so many supportive friends, Scharf said losing weight has been a catalyst for positive change in her life. She currently studies criminal justice and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

“Criminal justice is always something I liked. My law enforcement classes are fun. I’m thinking about being a parole officer or working with juveniles. I’m still deciding,” she said.

Her family plans to stay in Texas, so she wants to transfer to a school close by when she finishes her studies at TCC.

“I love it here. I don’t plan to go back to Germany. Nobody has three-car garages in Germany. Everything’s bigger in Texas,” she said. “Of course, there is the speed-limit here, so if we could get rid of that …”

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