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Mike Matteson Lost 279 Pounds Without Surgery. “I used Diet, Exercise and a Lot of Blood, Sweat and Tears.”

Mike Matteson admits, “I had every bad habit you can think of that contributed to my weight gain.” At 503 pounds, Mike says he often laid down to eat. Now, this bodybuilder, yes, I said bodybuilder, has lost an amazing 279 pounds. His success was hard won, and his story is one of the most inspirational I’ve read in a long time.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t overweight.

Over the years, Mike says he has dealt with “just about every uncomfortable thing that an obese person has to deal with.” From the bullying of classmates, to finding a seat belt that would fit across his midsection, Mike lived in a body that he never felt good about, and admittedly, didn’t take care of.

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Mike revealed that processed/junk and fast food were his diet staples. He never cooked, and says 90% of his meals were served by a waitress or through a drive-up window. Exercise, he admits, was nonexistent. “I was probably the laziest person you could ever meet,” he said.

I would wake up numerous times through the night gasping for breath.

Finally, Mike says the cumbersome weight of his body, the lack of sleep due to worsening apnea, and the warning by his doctor that he was pre-diabetic and would have to be placed on blood pressure medication finally culminated in the realization that he was in serious trouble. “I lived my life in bed,” he explained. “I knew if I didn’t do something that’s exactly where I would die.”

I lost the weight the good old fashioned way, with diet, exercise, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears!

At 503 pounds, Mike knew exercise would be a challenge. He started by walking to the end of his driveway and back again. Eventually, he was able to walk around the block. After one year, even though he hadn’t changed his diet, his increased activity helped him lose 100 pounds.


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Sara Kolling Lost 85 Pounds After Leaving an Abusive Relationship

If you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship, you know how it drains you of your spirit and self-esteem. Today, our true weight loss story focuses on Sara Kolling, a woman who had the courage to leave her abuser and for the first time in a long time, devote herself to her own well being. After losing 85 pounds, Sara feels stronger than she has in years, in more ways than one.

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Though Sara admits she was always the girl who was picked on and teased in school about her weight, she acknowledges that the pounds really started to pack on during the first year of her marriage. Once the abuse began, Sara became an emotional eater and says she just ate, “no matter what.” After three years, Sara finally sought a divorce.

The first thing I changed was no more diet soda, and no more eating after seven p.m.

On her own again, Sara finally got serious about wanting to lose weight when she got tired of her clothes being too tight, not being able to keep up with the students she worked with, and feeling like she couldn’t do even the simplest workout routine. She started by eliminating all the sugary, processed and junk food from her diet. The book, The Eat Clean Diet, by Tosca Reno was her first guide.


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Lacey Raul Lost 100 Pounds and Completed a Half-Marathon. Weight Loss Done Right!

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When Lacey Raul was growing up, no one held her accountable for what she ate, urged her to exercise or explained the future ramifications of a sedentary lifestyle. After trying to lose weight the “wrong” way for years, Lacey shifted gears, lost 100 pounds and kept it off, the right way. In May, she completed her first half-marathon and finished with a very respectable time of 2:24.

More from Lacey in her own words -

Tell me when your weight struggles began: I’ve had weight issues my entire life. I was always the fat girl who never wore shorts, and couldn’t even run a mile in PE class. I was tormented and teased my whole childhood but never had the guidance to eat better or the push to exercise.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I was a fast food junky. It was always around, convenient and cheap. I knew the lifestyle was unhealthy but I was in denial. I remember specifically when I was about 25 buying a size 16 suit for work and thinking, I can make this work I don’t need to lose weight. I looked like I was in my forties. It was sad.


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Bell Smith Lost 67 Pounds – “I’ll Never Be Skinny But I Can Still Carry Weight and Be Healthy”

Bell Smith is a belly-dancing beauty who embraces her curves because she knows they belong to a healthy body. For a time in her life, Bell let stress and grief take hold and she forgot to focus on her own well-being. Not anymore. After a 67-pound weight loss and mind-shift, Bell has transformed her life and her body.

More from Bell in her own words -

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Tell me when your weight struggles began. As a child, I could eat what I wanted and get away with it, but when I lost both my parents in the span of two years and then job stress piled on, so did the weight.  I experienced out-of-control eating, excess carb intake and I really overdid the fast food.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I saw a family picture of myself in 2009 and thought, “I’m fat.” Since my dad’s side of the family carried a lot of weight and both parents had high blood pressure and diabetes, I knew I had to take charge.

How did you lose the weight? I knew I had gained weight, yet I had been belly dancing since 2001 and my troupe accepted me as I was. I didn’t realize how much weight I’d gained. I started off by walking in the early morning with friends while it was dark so no one could see me, then signed up for a gym membership.


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Kara Allbaugh Lost 80 Pounds – “I Was a Food Addict and then Something Shifted. I’m So Glad.”

My name is Kara, I’m from Nebraska, and I was a food addict. This was my first introduction to Kara Allbaugh, this week’s True Weight Loss Story inspiration. When I received Kara’s email I was struck by her honesty and touched by her story. This mama said, “No more. I’m worthy,” and then she put in the hard work to lose 80 pounds.

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More from Kara in her own words -

Tell me when your weight struggles began. After I finished with school and settled down, it seemed like a downhill slide from there. When I got pregnant, I just gave up on how I looked. I just assumed that’s what happens.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I thought I needed to eat for two, and I did. Fast food became an addiction.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? Wow, so many things. My biggest reason was that I wanted to stop being miserable. I didn’t want to be trapped in a flabby body anymore. I wanted to wear anything I wanted, not search forever for something that might make my body look cute.


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