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Q: What inspired you to begin losing weight?
A trip to Disneyland—which is my favorite place in the world. I got stuck in the turnstile to get on a ride. I was so embarrassed! I knew at that moment that I had to change. I began my journey in March 2012 at 510 pounds, and as of today I’m around 150 pounds.
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Q: What's your secret? How did you lose all that weight?
I began being mindful of what I was eating and started counting calories. I think this worked because it taught me portion control and allowed me to still eat my favorite foods in moderation. I never eliminated anything and was truly able to learn what was good and healthy for my body.
Also see: 32 Healthy Store-Bought Snacks
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Q: What is the number one weight-loss mistake that people make?
Thinking they have to starve themselves in order to lose weight or that certain foods are “bad” and never eating them again will make them lose weight. Also, viewing it as a diet hurts people because they think of all the foods they can’t eat and become frustrated. If you focus on making this a healthier lifestyle change and remember that you are the one choosing what you eat, that helps tremendously. You are in control of what you do at all times.
Related: Common Weight Loss Myths Busted!
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Her Excess Skin
Q: You’ve been open about your skin removal. What do you want other people to know about the process?
Having lost 350 pounds, I was left with a lot of excess skin that I am in the process of having removed. What I want others to know is that if you find yourself in the position of needing skin removal surgery, because you feel like that is the best decision for you, then fight for it. Do not let anyone make you feel like you don’t need it or should not get it. If you feel it is best for you and your overall health, then I say go for it. A lot of people like to say skin removal is only “cosmetic”—even doctors. You are the only one who knows what you feel and what you are going through with that excess skin. Always remember to stay true to yourself and know it is so much more than just “cosmetic.” My skin was not only causing me physical pain, but mental pain as well which is why I am choosing to have it removed. Stay true to yourself and keep fighting. You deserve to live your best and healthiest life and never let anyone tell you otherwise!
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Q: What advice would you give to other women who want to shed pounds?
Take it one day, one pound at a time. Focus on winning the day. Follow your plan, eat your food, drink your water, get some activity in and get a good night’s rest. Wake up ready to do it over again. Just focus on the day at hand. You are beautiful and worthy and enough just like you are. Losing weight will not make you a better person. It will not make you more beautiful. It will just make you stronger and healthier and allow you to enjoy the best life you possibly can. Learn to love and take care of yourself and always remember if you want to make the changes, do it for yourself.
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Her Happily Ever After
Q: Have you been back to Disneyland?
Yes, it was a huge moment to go back, fit on all the rides and not get stuck! My fiancé Kevin actually proposed in front of the castle, which was truly magical. Hopefully a Disney wedding will be in our future!