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: Corinne Crabtree
Before Weight: 250 pounds
How I Gained It: At the age of nine, I started gaining weight. By the time I was in eighth grade I weighed 210 pounds. We grew up eating drive-thru and convenience food and going to buffets. It was just easy and, unfortunately, I never learned how to eat healthily.
When I graduated from high school I worked for restaurants where it was easy to eat burgers and fries. Throughout my 20s I suffered with shame over how I looked, which led me to eating out with friends, drinking too much and not exercising at all. Moving hurt -- and I was young! It was nothing for me to eat donuts for breakfast, a buffet for lunch and then hit Mexican and drinks after work. I ate my way to 250 pounds.
My biggest problem was that I liked to eat a lot of volume and didn't know how bad the food I ate truly was. I knew I was fat, but I thought it was because I was lazy, didn't exercise and was unwilling to go hungry. I thought to be thin you had to be hungry and suffer through exercise.
When I married at 27, I had dieted to 180 pounds -- but not in a smart way. I exercised, but didn't lift weights, I skipped meals and just stayed hungry most of the time. After we were married, I soon became pregnant. This was like a green light to go back to the volume of food I was missing out on and to the old foods that brought me comfort. The bigger I got, the more I ate because I was pregnant. By the time I had my son, I weighed 250 pounds again.
Breaking Point: When my son was born my weight did not fall off. I breastfed like a Jersey cow, yet I wasn't losing weight. I wasn't active, and I barely made an attempt to eat better. When Logan turned a year old I was lying on the couch crying, thinking, "I can't keep up with my one year old." I was tired, depressed and just fed up with my life. My husband came home, and I cried while looking at him saying, "I don't know what I'm going to do, but I have to change. I'm joining a gym, and I will figure it out."
He totally supported me. He said I could do anything I set my mind to, so I joined the gym. My son wouldn't go to the nursery so I decided I would go at night after dinner, letting my husband put him to bed.
How I Lost It: I started by walking three miles per hour for 15 minutes. It was all I could handle. For months, I would head to the gym and just go straight to my treadmill and walk as much as I could. At the same time, I started changing how I ate. I used to eat ice cream out of the carton, so I started using a bowl. I read books, I learned how to cook, and I tried lots of new foods. My biggest win was for once I didn't expect to hit a goal, to lose a lot of weight fast or even be perfect. I just kept trying new ways to be healthy until I found things that worked for me. Some things worked and some things didn't.
As I kept losing weight I got braver about trying classes at the gym, I hired a trainer to teach me about weights and took Spin classes. My brother-in-law was training for an Ironman and it sparked my interest to do a triathlon. My best friend wanted to walk a half-marathon. Suddenly, because I changed, all kinds of new exercise opportunities opened up for me. And when I started training for these events, I naturally started reading more and more about how to eat like an athlete.
When I got down to 170 pounds I stalled, so rather than giving up I joined Weight Watchers online and lost the last 25 pounds.
My life is full now. I have done over 25 half-marathons, three triathlons, two Tough Mudders, one full marathon, six figure competitions, and I started my own fitness website, Phit-N-Phat, where I blog about my journey and coach other women to learn about a healthy lifestyle. I've helped hundreds of women learn to run and cross the half-marathon finish line and lose weight after a lifetime of obesity. I also helped form a fitness group of over 100 women at my church. I lead their bootcamps, half-marathon training and work to improve the lives of their kids with a kids' fitness and health school initiative. This is at the same school I was bullied for my weight many, many years ago. I never dreamed I would one day be known as the "fit mom".
In my family, we eat healthily. I cook our food on Sunday for the whole week, my husband and I run races together, and I'm teaching my son how to have a healthy life unlike the one his mother led for so many years.
After Weight: 145 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:
Weight Loss Success Stories
For more on weight loss, click here.