Got a success story of your own? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured on the site!
Name: April Dixon
Before Weight: 260 pounds
How I Gained It: I had always been overweight throughout my childhood. I was over 100 pounds when I was five years old. The students at school would tease me because of my weight. I would be embarrassed to go out in public because I was paranoid of what others thought of me. I always turned to food for comfort. Food was my best friend that I could always depend on. I used to eat a lot of fast food. Breakfast was my favorite meal. I was over 200 pounds at the age of 10.
One day when I was 16 I looked in the mirror and cried. I felt so disgusted because I had allowed myself to get so big. I made a decision to do something about my weight.
I started walking at the park with my dad. I participated in more activities in school, including basketball, softball, swimming and ballet. But I still struggled with my eating habits, and when I went to the doctor, my heart dropped. The scale read 260 pounds. I couldn’t believe that all my efforts had failed! The doctor was concerned about my weight and explained to me that I was at risk of becoming diabetic. I decided to give up, because I felt losing weight was a waste of time.
Breaking Point: Someone made a comment about my weight loss at the end of my junior year in high school. That gave me courage to get on the scale again. I had lost 20 pounds without diet or exercise! I decided to make a real commitment to lose weight over the summer.
How I Lost It: Every day, I walked five miles on the treadmill. I changed my eating habits by taking only small portions of food. For breakfast, I would eat old-fashioned oatmeal without sugar or butter, with two slices of bacon and fruit such as peaches, apples, grapes and bananas. For lunch, I would eat grilled chicken salads and fruit. For dinner, I would eat steamed vegetables, grilled chicken and salads. The only fluid I would drink was water.
I continued to exercise every day and sometimes changed my exercise routine. I would do 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic videos, and every week or two, I would weigh myself. Sometimes I would lose five pounds in a week, sometimes more. I had to buy a new wardrobe. I joined a fitness club, and worked out there three days a week lifting weights, running on the treadmill, doing sit-ups and push ups and using the bicycles.
I entered into my senior year in high school 135 pounds lighter! I went from a size 22 to a size six. I've lost 28 inches off my waist and 22 inches off my hips and thighs. My family, friends and teachers were amazed at how much weight I had lost during that summer.
I am now a size 4. My goal is to help people who are overweight to overcome their struggles on losing weight. There are times when I crave for certain foods, but I learn to control my eating habits. I have kept the weight off for eight years now, and I continue to exercise three days a week. I use a website called weightathon.com to stay inspired and motivated. I became a vegetarian five years ago. I could have given up -- but I chose to lose weight and never give up.
After Weight: 125 pounds
The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories below:
For more on weight loss, click here.