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Name: River Jack
Before Weight: 265 pounds
How I Gained It: My weight came from my depression. The depression is what made me overeat. I went through a horrible divorce and lost everything, including my dignity and self-esteem. I began eating and didn't realize what was happening to my body.
I would walk with a cane because my knees hurt. I was so heavy my back hurt, and I was unable to sleep at night. Everything in my life spiraled out of control. When I looked in my mirror I didn't see a fat girl, I saw a sad one.
Breaking Point: I was eating myself to death. I woke up one morning and thought, “Do I really want to die?” I knew that if I kept eating like I was, I would. That day I walked a block. I remember being laughed at and stared at, but I woke up the next morning and did the same thing.
How I Lost It: Even just walking half a block, I would be panting and had to sit down. I kept walking a little further. I didn't realize that I was losing weight, but I could tell some of the fog was lifting from my mind. One day, a fire truck that passed me yelled over their speaker, "Damn girl!" I looked around to see who they were talking to, and realized it was me! On my way home I picked up a scale. I was anxious to see how much I weighed. At that point, I had lost 52 pounds. I was on my way.
Eventually, I worked up to 15 miles a day. The sun was brighter, and the depression was subsiding. When I finally felt happiness I looked in the mirror -- I had lost a total of 150 pounds.
Life is good, and I have maintained my weight. I stay away from fried foods, eat more fish and eat all foods in moderation. I still walk daily. As I walked, I became heathy of mind, body and soul. The sun has made me tan and blonde and healthy. I am no longer ashamed of my body. I wear bikinis, and every day a tourist will ask me if I would mind taking a picture with them. I have gone from the "fat girl" to the "beach girl".
I'm happy now. I stop to smell the roses. I realized what is important in life. There is hope. Grab onto it and walk for your life and your health.
After Weight: 115 poundsThe Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
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