03/17/2014 08:35 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Motivated By Her Sister's Weight Loss, Kate Cash Lost 127 Pounds -- And Counting

Kate Cash

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Name: Kate Cash
Age: 26
Height: 5'5"
Before Weight: 317 pounds

How I Gained It: The summer before sixth grade, a mom of one of my friends at school reached out to me to try and help me lose weight. She herself had been through the same thing growing up, and she wanted to help me as much as she could. I stepped on the scale and saw that at the age of 12, I was 200 pounds. With the combination of my parents' divorce, losing our home and just being immensely unhappy, it only went downhill from there.

Thankfully, I was never horribly bullied in school. I always had a group of friends and a family that supported me no matter what. But I was known as the funny, sweet girl, the girl that always had guy friends but only because they never found me the least bit attractive. I was the token fat girl, and because I never knew how to change it and was just simply too lazy, it just got worse.

Throughout high school and college, I went on health kicks where I would exercise more (which consisted of me going on an elliptical for 20 minutes) and would eat better (if getting a single cheeseburger instead of a double is considered better). But then when I wasn't seeing results fast enough, I would quit and go back to my double cheeseburger and large fries. I was also a binge eater. I would go all day without eating a thing, then I would pig out at dinner and eat until I fell asleep.

Breaking Point: I knew I had officially hit an all-time high with my weight when my size-26 jeans barely fit me. In December 2010, I weighed myself for the first time in a long time and saw that my weight was 317 pounds. I couldn't believe I let myself get there. That was when I decided to officially make a change.

How I Lost It: My sister and I started working out more regularly. I took it more seriously and definitely exceeded my 20-minute mark on the elliptical. But I wasn't seeing results as fast as I wanted them, and I took a step back. My sister kept on fighting. She lost 75 pounds, and I was immensely jealous. She was fitting into clothes that I still dreamt about. She's always been beautiful, but to see her at her happiest and to see her exceeding her own goals is what motivated me the most to know that I could do it, too.

I avoided the scale for another year, but after switching gyms and getting a trainer, I was finally proud of my results. The trainer would give me a workout to do each week, and I would repeat it at least four times a week and incorporate straight cardio on the other days. In March 2012, I was at 273 pounds. I was ecstatic to see that I was under 300 and couldn't wait to see it go down even farther. A switch flipped, and suddenly I had a kind of determination and motivation I never had before.

I also completely changed my eating habits. In the beginning, I went from those double cheeseburgers to Lean Cuisines. I was all about calorie counting, and it worked for me. I gradually stopped counting calories and directed my attention toward eating whole, "clean" foods. The less processed the better. I try to buy as many organic/grass-fed/cage-free products as possible. I eat a lot of veggies and lean meats.

I can't help but be ridiculously happy with what I've accomplished so far. I run -- me! I have completed two 5Ks in the last year and hopefully will do a 10K this year. I focus more on muscle group workouts. One day I'll do chest and triceps, the next will be legs, the next back and biceps. I've also incorporated yoga into my routine and I love it. It's the perfect stress reliever after putting my body through those workouts.

I still struggle with food and still have temptations to cheat and binge eat, but I know that I'm going to be fine and will get down to my goal. I just can't turn back now. I was hiding behind my body. I was so ashamed of what I had become, that I numbed myself with food. Now, I have so much confidence. Obviously, some days are harder than others. There are days when I want to give up and eat a pizza. But I look back at pictures of where I was and how I used to feel about myself and it gets me through. The only reason I look back is to show myself how far I have come. I'm no longer depressed, sad or negative. I want to live my life, and I fully intend to.

Current Weight: 190 pounds. I'm trying to get to 175 to see a surgeon regarding my loose skin. I would like to be around 150, but I don't know what my weight will be when I am completely happy with what I see.
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