Meet Cory Goodrich, a 48-year-old mother from Carol Stream, Ill., who lost 40 pounds on Nutrisystem!

Originally weighing in at 172 pounds, Cory says she was "avoiding life" and felt uncomfortable in her own skin—so she decided to make a lifestyle change to lose the extra weight!

"The best feeling is knowing that I've overcome something that has been a challenge for me my whole life," she told Closer. "I feel like I can take on the world now."

Read on to see how Cory successfully turned her life around!

What was your life like before the weight-loss?

"Before I lost the weight I was exhausted, all the time. I also avoided life. I often wouldn't go to parties with friends because I felt fat and unattractive. I was uncomfortable in my own body and I avoided pictures with my family because I didn't want to have a permanent record of how heavy I was. I was slogging through my life and not living it."

Was there a specific event or moment that triggered your weight-loss?

"There were a series of events: A sales clerk who told me a shirt I wanted to buy didn't come in maternity size, a co-worker who asked if a dress I was wearing came from a plus size store and a family photo shoot. It was the day of my daughter's first communion, and my husband went to take a picture of me and the girls. I grabbed my daughter as a human shield and positioned her in front of me, so that my body wouldn't show in the picture, and I thought, 'How sad is this?' I just got tired of hiding, of feeling bad about myself."

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How did you get started with your weight-loss journey?

"I had tried just about every diet created. My shelves were lined with every weight loss book and I had done the cabbage soup diet, Atkins, cleanses, the blood type diet, The Zone, Weight Watchers…you name it, I tried it. Nothing stuck with me and I would get overwhelmed and I'd quit. When I decided to do Nutrisystem, I was pretty sure that it wasn't going to work either, but I figured I had nothing to lose, so why not?"

How did your habits (exercise and diet) change?

"It's amazing to me now, how much my habits have changed. The foods I used to crave and thought I couldn't live without actually have no appeal to me now. Cookies seem too sweet, chips and junk food too greasy or salty. It's easy for me to keep off the weight because I'm not wanting the junk I used to feed myself. I crave vegetables and lean protein, and if I do want a treat, I choose a healthy one. [Exercise has] become such a part of my routine now, that I don't even think about it anymore. Before I lost weight, I would struggle to work out twice a week, if that. Now I exercise every day, even if it's just a walk with my dog. I run, lift weights, do pushups, (the FULL ones!) and sit-ups, and the amazing thing is, it's not a chore."

How does it feel now that you've lost the weight?

"I feel like a brand new woman, and like I've been given a new life, a second chance. I've had friends remark that I am aging in reverse! I feel younger and healthier now than I did in my 20's and it's an incredible feeling. I am the Energizer Bunny! I'm never tired and I have such boundless energy to perform on stage, to raise my children. Everything is better. It's a fantastic feeling to look in the mirror and to be happy with what I see. I feel the sexiest I have ever felt in my life and that makes my husband happy, too."

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What advice would you give to others looking to lose a substantial amount of weight?

"Listen, the road won't always be easy. You won't lose 20 pounds overnight, and there will be days you get frustrated and binge. It's OK! The important thing is to never give up. Keep at it. Every tiny change you make eventually adds up. You'll be amazed at how a small change in your attitude can totally rock your world. YOU'VE GOT THIS!"

Come back to every week to read more inspirational stories like Cory's! And head over to Nutrisystem for more information about their products.