Together, These Best Friends Lost 200 Pounds

Hannah Phaneuf and Kim Wood dropped the weight together.

Kim and Hannah

Kim and Hannah, before and after/Photos provided

Names: Hannah Phaneuf and Kim Wood
24 and 50
Location: Fitchburg
Total weight lost: 213 pounds all together

Hannah Phaneuf and Kim Wood do everything together. They live together, Phaneuf in an apartment on the second floor of Wood’s home. They eat their meals together. They go to the gym together. And together, they’ve lost more than 200 pounds.

“We knew from the get-go that if we didn’t do this together, we wouldn’t be as successful as we could be,” Phaneuf says. “It’s nice having somebody that knows exactly what you’re feeling at the same time.”

The best friends, who met when Phaneuf was in school with Wood’s daughter, had been struggling to lose weight for years, trying all manner of diets, exercise programs, and gimmicks. But when Wood’s doctor told her she was prediabetic, she knew things had gotten serious. She began to explore bariatric surgery.

Phaneuf wasn’t quite ready for something that extreme—until she flew to California, and needed a seatbelt extender on the airplane. “I just realized I really needed to do something,” she remembers.

Both women booked appointments with Laura Doyon, a surgeon at Emerson Hospital, and underwent bariatric surgery last summer—a mere six weeks apart, of course.

Today, they’ve each lost roughly 100 pounds, and report having more energy, more motivation, and, most importantly, more self-confidence. Wood says she’s spending more time with her daughter and doing better at work, while Phaneuf is finally putting her nursing license to good use.

“I wish that I had done this a long time ago,” Wood says. “I could have had a much healthier, productive past 10, 15, 20 years.”

Here’s how the duo is keeping the weight off nearly a year post-operation.


Both women focus on getting 60 to 80 grams of lean protein per day, plus plenty of vegetables and 50 to 80 ounces of water. They’ve also ditched their daily fast food habit, and have embraced home cooking.

But food choices are only half the battle. Wood says the pair’s portion sizes have shrunk to about a quarter of their pre-surgery size.

“When we think about what we used to consume, it’s pretty scary,” Wood says. “It was sort of an eye-opener for us, as to how much food you can eat and be healthy and satisfied.”


Wood and Phaneuf hit the gym (together, naturally) between two and four times per week, spending 45 minutes to an hour on the treadmill before using weight machines. The progress they’ve made, Wood says, is incredible.

“When we first started going—I have to chuckle a little bit—I would say to Hannah, ‘I can’t talk and walk at the same time, because I have to breathe, so don’t talk to me,'” she remembers. “It’s become a much more enjoyable thing. Before, we never wanted to go when we knew there would be a good amount of people, because we weren’t happy with ourselves and our body image.”

Today, however, those fears are gone.

“If anybody is thinking about it, they really need to pursue it,” Wood says. “It changed my entire quality of life.”