The weight gain began for Marina Tsapelas in 1996. She was about to turn 16, when a car hit her just days before her birthday.
Homebound for a year, Marina went from being one of the most popular girls in school to gaining 90 pounds. This would increase to140 pounds over the next five years.
Marina became isolated and depressed. Prospective employers would be impressed with her rsum, though they would instantly lose interest when they saw her in person.
“The five years after that, I learned to love myself ‘with fat’ and still saw ‘pretty’ no matter what other peoples face showed in response to me. But I knew I wasnt healthy and I knew I needed to make a change,” Marina said.
Although she learned to accept her appearance, she wanted to get healthy. At 300 pounds, she believed gastric bypass was her only solution. Fortunately, her doctor presented an alternative option: changing her lifestyle.
“The truth was I had not tried anything even close to what I knew was necessary before allowing someone to cut my body open and rearrange my organs, only to follow with months of excruciating pain and recuperation,” she admitted to herself.
Marina committed to changing her diet and to exercising. She says that going on the treadmill was so excruciating in the beginning that she thought she might die in the middle of a workout.
Eventually after months and months of mistakes, hard work, and commitment, Marina drastically transformed her health.
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