I had always been heavy, since I was in my late teens I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t wearing plus size clothing. I thought it didn’t bother me and always used to tell people that I was big boned, somehow thinking that made it better and “okay” to be overweight. In my early 20’s I had experienced some health issues that caused my weight to balloon to an astonishing 350lbs and the weight just kept piling on from there. By early 2008 I was tipping the scales at 460lbs. I joined a gym close to work that I had to pass by each and every day to go home, believing that would somehow will me to go in and work out…it worked well for a few weeks, till my first and only meeting with the personal trainer. She had me step on the scale…and the scale wouldn’t even register my weight, I was that heavy! She found a scale that would register my weight and that was when I found out that I was 460 lbs. I was devastated, I knew I had gained a lot, but I thought that my height hid most of it and now I felt like a whale. I went home and cried, wondering how I let myself go that bad. I didn’t know what to do, I just wanted it all gone…so I started evaluating my life in an attempt to figure out how I could begin to fix this mess I had created of myself. I looked at my life, my job, my friends and my family to try and figure out where it all went so horribly wrong. I could blame it on anything, my health issues in my 20’s, my work stress level, my friends and family who didn’t shatter me by telling me I truly did look like a beached whale…but at the end of the day I was the one responsible for the weight, no one and nothing else. So I started slowly making changes in my life. First up was to find a job with less stress, my current job was beyond stressful and thus I ate to alleviate the stress (side note: it didn’t help at ALL). I started looking for a new job and found one that would still challenge me mentally and that job took me 2 hours away from my current life. Once moved, due to it being a small town, I was forced to buy nutritious food and cook healthier. Secondly, I met with a new doctor and discussed my weight and issues. The Doctor and I set a small weight loss goal of 5 lbs in a month for the first few months, and I set out to achieve them. I learned to eat right, ate a ton of watermelon (literally it became my comfort and “snack” food) and continued to try to be more active, I even started running! Well the running part didn’t last long as my ankles gave me a really hard time, so I stuck with the walking just a little faster than an average pace! It took some time for my body to get used to this new routine of food and activity…but eventually it did and the weight slowly started coming off. It probably took a good year before I started noticing a difference. Since then, the weight has been consistently coming off, sometimes not a lot and I have plateaued a couple of times, once for 15 months I did not gain or lose a pound, then all of a sudden the weight started coming off again. Admittedly, there have been times I wanted to give up and didn’t think the weight would ever get down to a reasonable weight…but I have been fortunate to have a good support network of family, coworkers and friends who cheer me on and help me on those days to see all that has been accomplished so far and it keeps me going. So far it has taken me 3 ½ years to get to where I am, I have lost more than half my body weight and have reached the goal the Doctor set for me of 220 lbs. I still have more weight that I would like to lose, but reaching that first goal was the proudest moment of my life. I literally cried when I stepped on the scale and it showed 220 lbs! I will say this, in looking back on the pictures of me at my heaviest, I feel so much shame for letting my weight get that out of control. I always thought that because I was tall I hid the weight well…in reality I was only lying to myself.The biggest problem now is seeing myself as smaller, I seem to still want to go with bigger clothes thinking I am still that size. The brain takes way longer to get on board with weightloss than the body does for sure. Some mornings I look in the mirror and I still see the 460lb person I was, even though I KNOW I am not that person anymore.