How One Woman Shed Almost 200 Pounds After 40 Without Surgery

| Before & After

my weight loss journey

The simple pleasures most people take for granted, like driving, sitting in a booth at a restaurant or simply going for a walk, were all things mother of one, Kelly Smith, couldn't do. For years, she basically took a back seat to her life and allowed her weight to direct. Then one day, she was so fed up with being too tired and being so unable. So, she took her first step to knocking off the pounds.

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(Photo: Photo Courtesy of Living Life Weight Loss Story)

The Spark

For Kelly, who was 42 at the beginning of her weight loss journey, she was inspired by the little things. She wanted to be able to take care of herself and enjoy life with all of the adventures it has to offer. It was that simple. Enough time had passed that the excuses were fading. Perhaps, the only thing that could have held her back was her age.

"Weight loss, even in your 40s and being severely overweight (OK – obese) one's entire life, can be achieved through healthy eating and exercise," Kelly promised. "Whatever your method – just work it!"

The Fuel

As simple as her motivation, Kelly stuck to eating healthy foods and exercising. Things like fresh produce and lean meats with appropriate portions and workouts that she had fun doing kept her anchored. She started using Ideal Shape replacement shakes, a brand that actually sent her on a seven-day cruise to celebrate her weight loss! Kelly also tapped into Skinny Mom workouts, which you can find here.

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(Photo: Photo Courtesy of Living Life Weight Loss Story)

The Change

From 355 pounds to 161 pounds from 2012 to today, Kelly looks and feels like a totally different person. Her go-to workout is walking or jogging up to 5 miles for a route, and she also joined a gym at the beginning of this year that offers addicting group fitness classes. There are several things she's experienced since the weight dropped:

"Flying in an airplane without a seat belt extender or fear of not being allowed to fly due to my size," she began. "Bending over to pick something up or tie shoes, ride a roller coaster, go horseback riding, canoeing or rafting, go hiking — which is a real passion of mine now. The shame is I have lived in East Tennessee for more than 20 years and never knew the true beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains until I lost some weight."

Her blood pressure dropped from a resting 175/95 to 108/60 as of this time last year. Her body mass index, or BMI, was at a morbidly obese 57, but is now under 25. She lost 10 inches from her waist each year, and continues to transform.

"I really could go on and on," she said, "but the trend is clear: I AM NOW LIVING LIFE instead of hiding in the shadows."

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"I will never forget seeing someone’s before and after photo and thinking 'if she can, why can’t I?'" Kelly admitted. "That helped pave the way to the new me and I hope to be that inspiration to someone else because I truly believe IF I CAN… ANYONE CAN!"