At 200 pounds, Candy Krelnikov felt depressed and embarrassed by her size — so she decided to make a major lifestyle change and get her weight in check.

Over three years, the 45-year-old lost an impressive 70 pounds by kickstarting her workout routine and cutting junk food from her diet — and even opened her own fitness center to help other women achieve their weight loss goals!

“Now, I feel stronger and much more confident,” the 5-foot-6 mom, who now weighs 130 pounds, exclusively told Closer Weekly.

Read on to find out how Candy successfully lost 70 pounds!

What was your life like before the weight loss?

My struggle with weight began in my late twenties. A few years later, when I moved to a new town, I found myself turning to food for comfort and my weight climbed to an all-time high of 200 pounds. I was so miserable with myself that I just wanted to hide. I stayed home to avoid seeing other people because I didn’t feel good about myself.

candy krelnikov weight loss before

Candy before her 70-pound weight loss.

How did you get started with your weight loss journey?

My wakeup call came when my five-year old daughter drew a stick figure of me wearing a giant muumuu. After looking at her picture, I knew it was time to make some healthy changes to feel better about myself. There was a new Curves Club in my area and though I wasn’t feeling very confident at the time, I decided to give their weight loss program a try. I signed up for a membership after my first visit to the center and soon after joined the Curves Complete program to help me learn healthy eating habits and lose the weight that had been holding me back from the life I wanted to have.

candy krelnikov weight loss after

Candy after her 70-pound weight loss.

How did your diet and exercise habits change?

I knew to be successful with my weight loss, I’d have to make small changes that would stick. Eventually I started craving more fresh foods and less junk. When I started Curves Complete, I began recording my weight loss triumphs in a journal. It helped put setbacks in perspective and served as a reminder of how far I’d come. I became a regular at my Curves Club and relied on the support and encouragement from my coaches and the other club members to stick to my healthy lifestyle. Before signing up for the program, I didn’t exercise at all. I started by doing a 30-minute workout circuit five times a week and walked an additional 30 minutes a day. Today, I still regularly do the circuit training and also coach several classes at my local Curves. I also love running — I’ve competed in several 5K and 10K mud runs and have a new goal to do a half marathon!

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

Now, I feel stronger and much more confident. After losing the weight, I even decided to open my own Curves! It is so rewarding to have the opportunity to bring women together in a supportive environment to improve their fitness, gain strength, manage their weight and build their confidence.