HEALTHY LIVING
10/14/2013 07:50 am ET Updated Oct 14, 2013

Motivated By Her Dad's Slipping Health, Desiree Lost 230 Pounds

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Name: Desiree
Age: 34
Height: 5'5"
Before Weight: 375 pounds

How I Gained It: At 19, I hurt my neck and back, and then injuries piled on top of that. I ended up having surgery on both knees. I couldn't walk and most of my 20s was spent at physical therapy, sleeping or eating. I ate all junk food: pizza, sweets, breads. I was always looking for ways to eat. Food was my outlet to keep going. Combined with my dad being diagnosed with cancer, I became very depressed. Without being active, my weight just kept going up. I pretty much gave up on life.

Breaking Point: Plus-sized clothes no longer fit me, I now had to wear men's clothing. On my 30th birthday, my mom bought me a pair of size XXXL men's jeans -- and they ripped. I was heartbroken. I wasn't able to take care of myself or my dad.

How I Lost It: I cut out most carbs and dairy and started eating fish, brown rice, veggies, Special K snacks and meal bars and turkey.

I started fierce working out and weight training. I started out small, on the treadmill mostly, and then worked up to more intense workout videos, then weight training, then more extensive work with a trainer. I was hurting at first, but as I pushed myself it got easier. I became addicted to the results. Now, I do anything I can to keep exercise fun and exciting, like boot camps and burpees. It took me two and a half years, but I did it -- and without surgery!

My life has improved dramatically!! I can play with my nieces and nephews and wear cute clothes. I'm a new, active woman and my health has completely improved. I work out three times a week, and I love pushing myself! Although I lost my dad in 2009, he saw about 100 pounds of my loss and told me he was proud of me. He was my motivation. I really miss him.

I kept those XXXL jeans -- and I now fit into one leg!

After Weight: 145 pounds
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