Charlee Tyler and Doreen Jaramillo have dropped more than 200 pounds combined. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Charlee Tyler and Doreen Jaramillo have dropped more than 200 pounds combined. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

Charlee Tyler and Doreen Jaramillo knew each other in elementary school, but weren’t friends.

Now they are friends with a common bond: working out and losing weight.

Combined, the two ladies have lost more than 200 pounds in the last couple of years. They both figure to keep going.

When Tyler joined Keizer Curves in 2002, Jaramillo and her mom were the first two people she saw.

“I’ve been through so many weight loss programs, including Curves,” Tyler said. “I’ve tried everything else and they never worked.”

Tyler said Keizer Curves owner Shirlie Shelton, former manager Jenae Quackenbush and training coach Amy Allen convinced her to start the Curves Complete program in March 2012.

“They finally got me to try it,” Tyler said. “They told me it would change my life. Those three are the core of what’s kept me going. It’s not really a diet, it’s more of a lifestyle change. They’ve found ways to work for everybody. You set up a meeting with a trainer. Your coach meets with you weekly. You work out four days a week. You try to do your steps, between 5,000 and 10,000 a week. Your coach will gradually get you to do more. You also follow a meal plan.”

Tyler topped out at 327 pounds. Once on Curves Complete, the pounds started coming off. She is now at 193, some 116 pounds lighter than when she started the program. She hopes to be under 180 pounds by her 35th birthday in September.

“Jenae kept pushing me and told me it would change my life,” Tyler said. “Before I know it, I’m losing all this weight. I have no more back problems. I have no more knee problems. I had been told I would need knee surgery. Now the pain is going away. It was a matter of getting healthy that has changed me.”

Jaramillo’s mother Norma had started Curves Complete, but seeing Tyler’s weight loss is what really caught her eye. The two struck up a friendship and in September 2012 Jaramillo was on the program.

“Seeing Char did it the most for me,” Jaramillo said. “I saw the physical change in her. When I saw her on Curves Complete and saw her losing weight, and I saw my mom losing weight, they inspired me. My highest weight was 285 pounds. I didn’t like myself. Since eighth grade, I started filling out. After that I was heavy. I just didn’t like it. I’ve tried all the weight loss stuff in the past like Char has.”

Jaramillo, who has lost 86 pounds since starting the program, faced an early obstacle.

“My knee cap gave out in October 2012,” she said. “I planned on keeping going with this, no matter how hard it was. I was out for a month with splints.”

Tyler said coach Allen played a big role for Jaramillo.

“Doreen still came in every day to work out,” Tyler said. “She came in crying, but we have an awesome coach with one of the biggest hearts. Amy can take it and turn it around.”

Jaramillo is 10 pounds away from her short-term goal of getting down to 189 pounds.

“My long-term goal is 159 pounds,” she said.

Tyler wanted to lose weight in part to beat family history.

“I have a family history of diabetes and cancer,” she said. “I’ve had cancer but got rid of it. My mom and grandma both had diabetes. I want to avoid doing that and live longer than they did. I want to be healthy so my dad can see me happy and healthy.”

Both ladies like the comments they’ve gotten since losing weight.

“One reaction is, ‘You’re shrinking. Where did you go?’” Jaramillo said.

Tyler is appreciative of the program not just for the lifestyle change, but also the good friend she’s gained in Jaramillo.

“It’s been really nice,” Tyler said. “We love sharing photos on Facebook. We’re close friends, doing this together. You don’t need a TV show or surgery to change your life for the better. There are ways around that. Doreen and I are good representatives of that.”