At 275 pounds, Pat Hughes was in denial about how much her extra body weight was limiting her physical activity on a daily basis.

So the 55-year-old grandma decided to change her life by following the Atkins diet weight loss plan — a program that provides participants with simple, low-carb recipes — and has lost an astonishing 112 pounds over a year-and-a-half!

“Not only do I feel great, but I am healthier and have a lot more energy — [and] I feel pretty!” Pat exclusively shared with ‘Closer Weekly.’

Read on to find out how Pat successfully lost the weight and turned her life around!

pat weight loss before
Pat Hughes

Pat before her significant weight loss.

  • What was your life like before the weight loss?

I have always led a fairly active life, or so I thought. I truly did not realize how much my extra weight did slow me down until after I started losing a substantial amount of weight. I would always tell others I could get around just fine, but truthfully, I was just telling myself that as a form of denial. Little things like climbing a simple flight of stairs was difficult to do without huffing and puffing. My weight did hinder me from small things that most people take for granted. I was determined not to be fat in my fifties — my forties were my heaviest years.

Related Story: Paula Lost More Than 100 Pounds to Be Healthy for Her Kids!

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

In 2007, I started a ‘Biggest Loser’ contest at the school where I was working to motivate myself to lose the weight. [Later] I started the Atkins plan… and my weight started dropping. I cut out sugars and carbs. I eat Atkins frozen meals for lunch and usually have an Atkins meal bar or shake. When I had major back surgery last June, my exercise program came to a screeching halt — I have had to build my exercise program back up since then. When I was in full swing I would work out at least five times a week [by walking or using the elliptical].

pat weight loss after
Pat Hughes

Pat after her 112-pound weight loss.

  • What were the most difficult aspects of losing the weight?

It has been a long journey. I had some tough days trying to stay motivated, especially those plateau days everyone hits. I also love to cook, bake and entertain [so] that aspect of my life sometimes makes [dieting] hard. The good news is if I want to indulge in the foods I can’t eat on a regular basis, l do… I just can’t eat carbs, fried foods and sugars on a daily basis. With this much weight loss comes a few physical issues, too. I have a lot of loose skin. It’s not pretty… and it is a daily reminder of the weight issues I have dealt with throughout my life. I am hoping to one day be able to get it surgically removed.

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

I feel great. I will always follow the Atkins plan. Not only do I feel great, but I am healthier and I have a lot more energy. I feel pretty. I have had such fun rebuilding my wardrobe. I tell everyone, if l can do this, anyone can achieve their weight loss goals. I’m just a 55-year-old grandma — no gimmicks, just work, diet and sheer determination!

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