I Love the New Me: 5 Women's Incredible Weight-Loss Stories

These five women beat the odds, lost the weight, and transformed their lives. Here, they share their inspiring weight-loss journeys and strategies.

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Kathy Stuart before

Kathy Stuart's Story

Age: 34
Height: 5'5"
Residence: North Ridgeville, Ohio
Marital status: Married for nine years
Children: Nathan, 6, and Luke, 2
Occupation: Fourth-grade teacher
2006: 296 lbs.
Now: 156 lbs.
Lost: 140 lbs.

How it started: In college I was a size 16. That's when I started taking diet pills and lost about 50 pounds, but I was concerned about the health risks. So I went off them and gained all the weight back -- and then some. By the time I met my husband (who at 6 feet weighed 320 pounds) in 1998, I was a size 20. So much of our relationship centered on food. We went out to dinner a lot and ate junk food. The weight piled on for both of us. In 2004 my husband, whose weight had climbed to 340 pounds, had gastric bypass surgery. I knew that wasn't for me -- being put under anesthesia was too scary. He lost 90 pounds in about eight months. The idea was we'd both use his surgery as a springboard to eat healthy, something my husband still does today. But then I got pregnant and gained even more weight.

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