Got a success story of your own? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured in our I Lost Weight series!
Name: Melissa Vidal
Before Weight: 260 pounds
How I Gained It: It started my first year of college. I was overwhelmed with change. I found comfort in bad eating habits during my rigorous studying. I would eat fast food at least four times a week, never incorporating vegetables or protein. I would eat two or three meals' worth of food in one session. It was an excessive amount of food I was taking in.
After three years of my unhealthy habits, I had gained a total of 100 pounds. I didn't realize what I was doing to myself. I would buy stretchy clothes or loose t-shirts. Every three months I would buy larger sizes.
Breaking Point: I developed polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS and high blood pressure. I knew after this health reality check I needed to do something for myself and my future.
How I Lost It: I told myself this was going to be my new lifestyle. I did not want to say the word "diet." I wanted to live in this new healthy mindset. It took me three years to gain my weight, I didn't expect to lose it in three months.
There are no shortcuts; it took time and dedication. I slowly started adjusting my eating habits. I cut fast food from four times a week to only weekends. I made sure I ate every three hours to keep my metabolism moving.
Eventually, I became accustomed to eating healthy foods and no longer craved fried food. Sure, I would have my splurge days, but I would make sure I stayed active throughout the day.
After a few months of adjusting my diet, I incorporated exercise. I didn't want to overdo it, so I set a slow pace for myself. I would walk around my apartment complex three to four times a week for 30 minutes. I would take the stairs instead of using elevators. After another month, I had lost 20 pounds. Then I started a workout program called Insanity and lost 30 pounds in the next two months. Today, I incorporate different interval training exercises to continue firming my body. I exercise four to five times a week for 45 minutes.
After two years of changing my diet and exercise, I reached my weight loss goal! Patience was the key. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. It is possible, but only when you are ready for change. You have to take your time and know what's best for your body. Yes, it's hard. Yes, sometimes you feel like giving up. But don't! It will be all worth it in the end!
After Weight: 160 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:
For more on weight loss, click here.