For those having trouble sticking to a New Year's resolution, we offer England's Karen Stupples as a source of inspiration. What's left of her, at least.
The 14-year veteran of the LPGA Tour stood on a scale and almost fell down in tears Jan. 3, 2012. The number: 183.
Stupples, mother of 5-year-old Logan, has tried all sorts of diets since giving birth. Last January, she decided that drastic measures were needed to avoid becoming an also-ran. For the first five weeks, she cut out bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, as well as dairy. She lost 20 pounds.
Stupples' original goal was to drop from a size 12 to a size 8. She accomplished that, but when her season began to wind down in the fall, she hit the gym harder and slimmed down to a 4. Stupples measured the waist of her Solheim Cup trousers from September 2011 against a new pair and discovered she had dropped from 39 inches to 32-1/2. She has lost 38 pounds.
"I can't remember ever being this size," the 39-year-old said. "Maybe when I was 16."
The members at Stupples' club in England didn't recognize her, and neither did those at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla., when she flew back in early January.
Stupples' primary motivation for making such a radical change: She couldn't take the heat. Literally. The temperatures at LPGA stops in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are so oppressively hot that Stupples knew she couldn't cope at 180-plus.
"If I wanted to be competitive," she said, "I needed to be fitter."
Last season, Stupples struggled with her swing a bit as she was able to move her body faster. When the adrenaline started pumping, the lengthy player got erratic. She finished 73rd in the LPGA Tour money list with $116,909 in earnings.
She believes her work this offseason, however, will pay dividends.
"That 2012 resolution was a life resolution," Stupples said.