Christie Buie has always struggled with her weight. "I was a fat teenager and a fat adult," the 41-year-old shares. "People ask me about my story, and I don't have any excuses. I feel like I was the most horribly undisciplined person."

And although there wasn't one specific moment that made the Washington resident want to take control of her body, she was sick of the mobility issues and lack of energy that came along with weighing 350 lbs. at 5-foot-3.

"I was afraid to go to a restaurant because I didn't want to sit in a booth that I couldn't fit into," Christie tells Women's Health. So she started reading a book about the Atkins diet and decided to try cutting out carbs for two straight months.

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Her reward for staying committed? Eating whatever she wanted on Thanksgiving, though her body wasn't having it.

"Within an hour after eating, I felt like crap," she says. "I felt tired, sleepy, and hungry [again]. It was such a good reminder of where I'd been and what caused me to get to the way that I used to be."

For exercise, she went from doing five minutes on the elliptical four days a week, to running three miles, and is down to an impressive 185 lbs.!

Here are Christie's personal tips for success (via Women's Health):

  • Find a diet that works for you. "Some people can't give up bread, and that’s cool…Find something that you can live with."

  • Have a backup plan. "Everybody is going to fall off the wagon — nobody's going to stick to something 100%. Have a plan for your mishaps if you do fail."

  • Stop setting numerical goals. "I make activity goals instead — like to be able to run a 5K without stopping and walking."