Name: Stacey Beaman
Before Weight: 265 pounds
How I Gained It: I think many factors go into weight gain, but ultimately it came down to feeling hopeless and giving up. I had gone through several difficult events in my life including a divorce and a very difficult job situation. I felt hopeless and sad, and I just stopped caring. I ate my troubles away and went numb. The pounds slowly but surely piled on, as my heart broke more and more.
Breaking Point: There were several moments I knew I needed to lose weight, events that are absolutely humiliating to recall. I'll never forget struggling to fit into a booth at a restaurant. It was devastating. I was constantly saying no to various invitations (especially in the summer) because I didn't want to be seen in a bathing suit, or I didn't feel confident that I could physically handle a hike or going water skiing. However, the final moment came last spring when I had a horrible panic attack in the middle of the night and I could not breathe. I thought I was going to die. I went to my doctor, who said my blood pressure was high. That scared me into taking action. I did not want to go on any kind of medication. I wanted to take control of my health.
How I Lost It: Changing my diet was a huge part of my weight loss. Portion control, eating more often, removing soda and fancy drinks from Starbucks, eating more protein and fewer carbs. I started eating more veggies and fruit and less of foods like chips, tortillas and bread. I started drinking tons of water!
I also found a workout that I fell in love with called PlyoJam. I had tried so many different fitness programs over the years -- bootcamps, treadmills, kickboxing, hot yoga -- and nothing stuck. It was so hard at first. I was embarrassed by my lack of conditioning, I was embarrassed to wear workout clothes, I was embarrassed that I couldn't quite keep up at first. But I kept at it, and I fell in love with it. Last summer I challenged myself to take 40 classes in eight weeks, and I accomplished that goal. Dance fitness has become an integral part of my journey. I think anyone on a weight-loss journey must find a method of fitness that fills their heart with joy.
I say yes to just about everything now. Fear doesn't hold me back. I took a year off from teaching to travel the world, which I don't think I would have done in my old body. I was recently asked to do a short segment on the news for PlyoJam where I was going to have dance on TV. GASP! I'm certainly not at my goal weight yet, but I decided to go for it and celebrate how far I've come. Also, now I can go into stores and shop for clothes -- how fun! I feel more energetic and lighter on my feet. My happiness has soared, the numbness is going away and my broken heart has begun to mend.
Current Weight: 190 pounds. I'd like to lose another 30 pounds, and I know I will, but right now I celebrate every single day how far I've come.
Got a success story of your own? Send it to us at email@example.com and you could be featured in our I Lost Weight series!
The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers. As told to Sarah Klein.
Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories below: