Name: Kourtney Luster
Before Weight: 302 pounds
How I Gained It: Even as a child I was overweight. I had never been that active, and I ate a lot. My mother had tried and failed many times to get me on a diet or a fitness regime, but I always resisted... angrily. I didn't want to lose weight. I didn't see a problem with the size that I was. When I went to college and had the freedom to eat when and whatever I wanted, I abused that liberty. Late at night I would eat Chinese food, pizza, cake, pasta, Mexican food, soul food, anything I could get my hands on.
Breaking Point: My breaking point came in the summer of 2009 when I had graduated from college and reluctantly moved back home. I couldn't find a job to save my life! It got to the point where I just felt like I was stuck in the house all day with nothing to do. I figured that since I had so much time on my hands I would check out the gym at my apartment complex ... just to see.
How I Lost It: When I first started working out, it was difficult because I didn't quite know what I was doing. I was unsure of myself in the gym for a while until I gained the confidence to try different fitness routines. I did some light research on food and decided not to eat after 6 p.m., as late-night eating had always been my weakness. I cooked all of my meals instead of ordering fast food, and I cut out soda completely. In the first three months, I lost 50 pounds. I never planned on losing as much weight as I have now.
After those three months, I hit a lull and knew that I had to step my fitness game up. At the time, I was only doing cardio on an elliptical for an hour a day. I never once considered weight training until I joined a real gym that offered classes. I took ballet classes, cycling, weight training, Pilates, you name it. I was, and still am, trying to shock my body and push it to its breaking point.
I became more knowledgeable about food, and threw my "no eating past 6" notion out the window. I know exactly how many grams of each food group I need to eat each day. Although I eat clean on a regular basis, I still indulge in some of my aforementioned favorite foods like pizza, pasta, etc.
By 2012, I had lost nearly half of my body weight, a feat I never even dreamed of achieving but one that I am very grateful for. Now, my training consists of light cardio, weight training and the barre method. I swim when time permits, and this year I have decided to take on outdoor cycling.
After Weight: 160 pounds The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
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As told to Sarah Klein