I was the first to crack jokes about my size, laughing with the others on the

outside but crying intensely on the inside. I hid my eating binges from my family, hating myself for what I was doing, but unable to control myself.

At the age of 34, I weighed 300 pounds. I was in pain 24 hours a day, with degenerative disc problems. My body felt stretched and crushed all at the same time. Stepping on the scales at 300 pounds was a turning point in my life. The scale registered that enormous number, but I felt like a zero. And I realised with startling clarity that if I didn’t gain control of my life, I wouldn’t be around much longer. I thought of my precious sons — I wouldn’t be there to watch them grow up. I’d miss their first crushes, first heartaches, proms, driver’s licenses, graduations, weddings — I’d never hold my grandbabies.

At that moment, I knew I had two choices: live or die. Something inside me broke free and I heard myself screaming, “I’m going to live! I deserve to live, live, live!”

I screamed loud enough to awaken a new me. I had a drive inside I’d never felt before. I knew then that I was going to do everything in my power to win this battle. I wasn’t going to give up on me ever again.

This powerful force inside me for life was a force of love as well. I felt a spark of love for myself — as I was — that had been gone for a long time. I decided, for the first time ever, that I was going to lose weight the healthy way. — Beliefnet.com