Photo Credits: Melissa King
When Melissa King reached 425 pounds, her doctors told her the only way she'd successfully lose a significant amount of weight was through surgery.
But Melissa was determined to shed the pounds the old fashioned way. So she cut out fast food from her diet, started portion-controlling her meals and hit the gym — and has since lost an amazing 235 pounds over two years.
"I feel like I can do anything now! I missed out on so much of my life before and now I finally feel like I can get all those missed experiences back — I’m a new person!" the 34-year-old exclusively told Closer Weekly of her weight loss.
Find out how Melissa lost the weight below!
Melissa before her 235-pound weight loss. (Photo Credit: Melissa King)
- What was your life like before the weight loss?
I was depressed, unhappy and had basically given up on myself. In my late 20s and early 30s, I had extremely high blood pressure, was pre-diabetic and in an unhappy marriage. Food had become my comfort. I was an emotional eater and the more depressed I became, the more I ate. I had no concept of healthy eating and ate fast food constantly until I literally made myself sick. Exercising wasn’t even an option — I could barely walk around a mall let alone attempt to go to the gym. I wasn’t living life — I was surviving and barely doing that.
- How did you get started with your weight loss journey?
When I reached 425 pounds, I was shocked and embarrassed. My doctors would constantly recommend weight loss surgery, which was frustrating. In April 2012, I signed up for Weight Watchers. I wasn’t interested in going to the meetings, but I knew following their diet plan would help. I bought a food scale, started measuring portions and began paying more attention to nutrition labels on food at the grocery store. I gave up regular soda, switched to lean meats — ground turkey, chicken and fish — and ate more fruits and vegetables. I used to eat two McDonalds breakfast sandwiches and drink a large, full-fat latte from Starbucks each day for breakfast. Now I eat a small bowl of cereal with almond milk and drink a small iced coffee.
Melissa after her extreme weight loss. (Photo Credit: Melissa King)
I went from zero physical activity to working out four to five times per week. When I first joined a gym, I could barely do five minutes on the elliptical — I felt like I was going to die! But each time I went, I increased my time by a minute. I would leave the gym drenched in sweat and red faced, but I felt accomplished! After a few months, I was able to work my way up to spending an hour on the elliptical and joined a few dance-inspired workout classes. I was so energized by the music that it didn't even feel like I was working out! The gym became my escape and my release instead of food.
- What were the most difficult aspects of losing the weight?
The hardest part of my journey has been dealing with the excess skin I have from losing such a large amount of weight. It affects me mentally and emotionally. It's really difficult not being able to see all the muscles and progress that I have worked so hard for. Unfortunately my insurance won’t cover the cost of the $24,000 in surgeries that I need, but one day I will save enough! Despite the excess skin, I wouldn’t change a thing about my weight loss struggles — they made me who I am today!
Melissa before (left) and after (right) her weight loss. (Photo Credit: Melissa King)
- How does it feel now that you've lost the weight?
I feel like I can do anything now! I missed out on so much of my life before and now I finally feel like I can get all those missed experiences back — I’m a new person! I may always struggle with my self-worth and self-confidence, but every day I take a step closer to becoming the person I truly am.