For Bonita Reid, riding horses was a favorite activity of hers. But after giving birth to two babies, she slowly began gaining more and more weight.
"At 333 lbs., I had given up any things I liked to do," Reid admits. "Hiking, horseback riding, biking, to name a few. It was embarrassing to travel and have to get a seat belt extender."
The 57-year-old adds, "I was handicapped by the weight. I knew if i didn't do something I would be in a wheelchair or dead."
When her daughter suggested she become a volunteer firefighter alongside her in June of 2012, Reid knew she'd have to lose weight in order to get involved. Over the last two years, she's successfully lost 183 lbs.!
"I am treated with more respect by everyone. I sleep better," the registered nurse says of her slimmer figure. "Every aspect of my life is better."
Though maintaining her weight loss requires trips to the gym at 3:45 a.m., Reid says it's worth it and also exercises by hiking, walking her dogs and riding horses daily.
"When I am asked how I did it, [I say] perseverance, determination and accountability to myself," she proclaims. "I have a new life now. One I deserve and will fight to keep!"
On the other hand, Mina Makram has always struggled with his weight, especially in college when no one was regulating his meals.
"I'd forget to eat and skip [the] majority of the meals," Makram explains. "What ended up happening is that I'd get so hungry and eat whatever was convenient."
He also found exercise extremely difficult at his heaviest, which was 400 lbs. "By the time I walked for 10 minutes, I was drenched in sweat, tired and downright hating myself. It severely affected my self-confidence," the Cairo native confesses.
Related: 'Black-ish' Star Anthony Anderson On His 47-Lb Weight Loss & "Vegan-ish" Diet!
Makram decided to buy a bike, even though he'd never learned how to ride one growing up.
"My initial goal was to feel comfortable enough on the bike. On the weekends I would test my biking limits. [A] few months in, I was able to bike further and further," he shares.
Since February 2011, Makram has lost 195 lbs. and is now a dedicated biker. "My goal changed from biking comfortably to wanting to lose half my body weight."
To see Bonita and Mina on the Today Show, head over to their website!
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