02/28/2013 08:16 am ET

An Email Inspired Tracy Plumb, Ohio Woman, To Lose 150 Pounds (VIDEO)

"The bigger you are, the more invisible you are." That's how Tracy Plumb, of Madeira, Ohio, felt as she edged closer to 300 pounds.

Plumb told Cincinnati's WLWT in the video above that she gained 120 pounds in the wake of her father's death while attending culinary school, and how she felt scrutinized because of her weight.

"Especially when you eat in public, everyone's watching you and judging you and thinking, 'That's why she's fat!'" says Plumb, who remembers crying in front of her closet, trying to find something to wear that could disguise her appearance.

But after receiving a simple email -- an invitation to her 10-year high school reunion -- she was motivated to lose 150 pounds -- and completely change her life.

"I had to get my mind right, I had to get my life right," she says, in order to commit to eating nutritiously and exercising regularly. In the process, she replaced soda, potato chips and desserts with lean protein, veggies and fruit, she says, and lost 11 pounds in the first week. Eleven months later, she had lost 150 pounds, and she's since become a personal trainer.

Weight loss is about learning to love yourself, she says, and she's better equipped to help others reach their goals because she intimately knows the journey they're on.

Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories below:

Weight Loss Success Stories

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