Weight loss can prove to be quite a feat. Especially when addiction is involved. For almost 30 years, 42-year-old Danyeil Durrant dealt with food addiction. This struggle hindered her from experiencing the joys of food and life in its entirety, and almost put an end to her life. But today, she's finally free from the addiction, and looks and feels better than ever. Danyeil admits that her issues with weight began at the tender age of 10, when she decided to go on her first diet. This is linked to the fact that her mother was struggling with her weight, and a constant dieter, which worked its way into Danyeil's mindset, making her begin to wonder if perhaps she needed to work on herself as well. Her first diet was made up of vegetable soup, a pickle and a piece of cheese three time per day. " I remember being so hungry I would sneak food whenever I could. That's when my unhealthy relationship with food began," she says.As an adult, she found that her unhealthy relationship had reached an all-time high. She consumed fast food three time a day. She craved comfort foods filled with fat like macaroni and cheese and pasta with Alfredo sauce. "Every time I was about to go on a diet—which was often—I would spend the entire weekend eating all my forbidden foods and probably gained another 5 to 10 pounds before I even started. To lose weight, I tried everything—pills, shots, shakes, starvation. I survived on 600 calories a day for six months. Each time, I would lose 40 to 60 pounds, and then I'd stop and gain every pound back," Danyeil reveals."I avoided going out, spending too many days watching super heroes and eating chips. All the while, my weight itself physically kept me from living. I couldn't lift my own body out of the bathtub, I paid for first-class tickets because I couldn't fit in coach, and I had to request tables at restaurants because I was too large for booths. But oddly, no one talked about my weight, not even me. I was the elephant in the room." Danyeil says that her wake-up call came after a visit to the doctor revealed that her cholesterol was so bad that she was at risk of experiencing a detrimental cardiac event. She couldn't believe the news. She was 39 years old and concerned about having a heart attack. She realized she was slowly killing herself and needed to make a change."What I did next is particularly alarming to me when I look back on it. I went straight to McDonalds for what I thought was my last fast food meal. While I was eating it, I thought, 'IS this going to be my last meal? Am I going to die?' I clearly had a very unhealthy relationship with food, which would prove hard to break. I didn't immediately change my ways, and unfortunately there were many more unhealthy meals after that one.I ate one of those meals on August 3, 2012 at a birthday party for my sister—it was rice, steak, and veggies covered in creamy sauce at a Japanese restaurant. At that party, my sister and my 21-year-old niece, both overweight, told me they had joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago and were already losing pounds. Although I'd tried what felt like hundreds of diets in the past, I'd never tried that one. I joined with my best friend the next morning."
When Danyeil went to her first weigh-in, she was shocked to discover that she weighed in at 363.3 pounds. But she was happy to know she was doing something about it. She was in a place where she had to create a healthy and balanced meal consisting of foods she never even knew she liked so much, such as vegetables. But after only losing 1.2 pounds in one week, she realized she also needed to incorporate exercise. "I begged my best friend and weight loss partner to join a gym with me until she agreed. Together, we spent 2 to 3 hours a night at the gym after work. At first, I could only do about 10 minutes on the treadmill. My knees barely bent enough to get onto the stationary bike, but I would do another 10 to 15 minutes there. My friend would strap my feet into the rowing machine because my stomach was too big to reach them. We would row side by side, and although the activity was extremely hard for me, it felt great to finally have some control over my life and my health."She found that the addition of exercise was incredibly beneficial, especially when it came to her weight loss. "For the first time in so long, my legs and shoulders grew muscular, and my jawline and biceps became visible. I looked like a new person. I went from a size 9 ½ shoe to a 7 ½, from a size 32 pants to a size 12, and from a size 5X shirt to a medium. Within only a year of joining Weight Watchers, I lost 100 pounds! Perhaps most importantly, my cholesterol dropped 37 points. From there, I stayed motivated by coming up with unique challenges. On New Year's Eve, I completed my year total of 2015 pushups. By the end of 2014, I also hit my goal of losing 150 pounds! For 2015, I vowed to do everything I couldn't do when I weighed 363 pounds. I rode a bike, which I hadn't done since I was a teenager. I went kayaking for the first time. I swam next to dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. I saw three concerts in one weekend and danced in public. The list goes on and on."Danyeil is happy to say that she is now 150 pounds and 150 inches smaller. Her food addiction is a thing of the past, and she has more energy than ever before. Are you, or anyone you know, addicted to food that is hindering the overall quality of your or their life? Source: Prevention All images from Danyeil Durrant