Mary Maxwell has shared some empowering photos of her weight loss journey, which has seen her lose an incredible 165 pounds.
However her reasons for transforming her body are heartbreaking.
The 24-year-old has seen almost all of her immediate family lost their lives to obesity-related complications.
Her father died before she was born, and her mother and aunt passed away before she was three years old.
Posted by Janelle James on Friday, March 25, 2016
Writing on her Go Fund Me page, she explained: “My parents, both morbidly obese were told to not expect children due to health complications from their weight, yet here I am today.
“My father was diagnosed with cancer shortly after my mother and he started dating. They decided to get married and try getting pregnant. When my mother was 6 months pregnant, he died."
“My mother fell into a deep depression and when I was 2 years old, my mother died of a sudden heat attack due to her obesity."
“Months before her passing, my aunt who was 26 died of a heart attack also. So let’s see; my mother, father, grandparents, AND my aunts all were morbidly obese and as a 2 year old I was heading in the same direction.”
A 24-year-old high school English teacher has shed 165lbs after losing both her parents and her aunt to health problems...Posted by Ownnewson on Tuesday, March 22, 2016
A 24-year-old high school English teacher has shed 165lbs after losing both her parents and her aunt to health problems...
Mary was adopted into another family, but, when her adopted father passed away, she fell into a deep depression and turned to food for comfort.
Already overweight, she soon found herself reaching obesity at just 13-years-old.
After high school, she found herself ballooning to nearly 300 pounds and finally realized that she needed to take action.
Eleven days before her 21st birthday, she underwent Gastric Bypass surgery, and almost died due to multiple complications which required two major stomach surgeries.
She powered through, sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan, and has since lost an incredible 165 pounds.
However there is a problem.
Sharing photos of her changing body, she explains on her Go Fund Me page: “After losing such a huge amount of weight I am left with numerous pounds of skin.
“So many times I've looked at the skin and cried. I wonder to myself how I ever could ruin my body the way I did. One day I will have the scars to show who I was, the scars from skin removal surgery."
“Until then I wear my extra skin as a scar on my heart because I will NEVER be the woman I want to be with this lingering on my body.”
Mary has set up the page in a bid to raise the funds necessary for a second expensive operation, which she hopes will remove her excess skin.
She says: "Until the miraculous day when I can rid myself of the old me I will hold my head up high and be proud of how far I've come."
"Emotionally it is tough, physically it is tough but I am tough!"
What an incredible woman; we hope she meets her target!
Mary Maxwell of Portland, Oregon, went from 315lbs to 150lbs after she fell in love with her boyfriend Josh Parker… https://t.co/zUzWbcIpQR— World Health News (@WorldHealthNews) March 23, 2016
Mary Maxwell of Portland, Oregon, went from 315lbs to 150lbs after she fell in love with her boyfriend Josh Parker… https://t.co/zUzWbcIpQR
Posted by Mary Maxwell on Monday, May 25, 2015
Posted by Mary Maxwell on Friday, January 29, 2016
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PLUS: See more dramatic weight loss transformations, and learn the simple tips that helped others lose weight.
Once her weight reached almost 400 pounds in 2014, 29-year-old Mallory Buettner decided it was time for a change. See the teacher now on the next slide.