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Name: Marqkria Mcmiller
Before Weight: 407 pounds
How I Gained It: I was never a small child growing up. When I was 5 years old, I weighed 76 pounds, and I suffered from a narrowing blood vessel in my heart and had surgery to correct it. From then on, my mother did not want me to be too active; she was afraid I would have a heart attack. I basically stayed in the house a lot and ate. By the time I was 13 years old, I weighed 172 pounds. I was picked on all the way through my school days for being heavy. By age 19, I weighed 346 pounds.
Breaking Point: My doctor once told me I was borderline diabetic and that I was going to need a respirator at night. He was afraid that I would die in my sleep. He also said that I would not live very long if I continued on the journey I was on. I was taking blood pressure and cholesterol medications and not enjoying my life at all. That was the changing point for me. My motivation came from me wanting to take control of my life.
How I Lost It: I did not get serious until my early 20s. By that time, I was 407 pounds. I started by taking a nutrition class to learn how to eat. The class taught me about portion control. Afterward, I began to walk for exercise. I would start off at just 15 minutes a day. Because of the pressure of the weight on my knees, I could not walk for long. After a week of changing my eating habits and exercising, I started to see weight fall off. My mom has been my biggest inspiration to keep myself healthy. Once she found out how dangerous my weight was, she helped me the whole way to get to a healthier me.
I am now a 5K runner. Running my first 5K was the best feeling in the world. It was very emotional, because I had come so far. I went from being my biggest critic to my biggest cheerleader. This year, I plan to run a marathon.
I am not on a diet. I plan all of my meals. I do Sunday meal prep to keep me on track, which consists of writing out my grocery list on Saturday night. I do allow myself a Saturday treat after a long workout week, which usually consists of my own homemade cocoa ice cream. I stay away from processed foods; I cook everything.
This has been a complete lifestyle change for me. My complete transformation took about four years. It was a very slow, well-proportioned weight loss. It came off very slowly, but I have enjoyed the process. The whole time I've been watching myself transform little by little. Recently, I have started doing P90X, and I am picking up some muscle tone. I can't wait to see my final results.
After Weight: 147 pounds. I would love to be around 138.The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
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Weight Loss Success Stories
As told to Sarah Klein