Amy Blackwell had been overweight since she was a child, weighing 140 pounds at the age of 10. When she went to school to be a veterinarian, her diet of takeout meals made the pounds creep up even further. By the time she finally got her dream job, she was 311 pounds.
"I often had to tell people they needed to stop overfeeding their Labrador or cat because it wasn’t good for them to be so heavy," Blackwell said. "But I knew they were probably thinking maybe I should heed my own advice rather than tell them what to do with their pets."
It didn't help that her work was so physical, with lots of bending over and grabbing ahold of some overexcited animals. Weighing so much made a tough job even tougher. That was when she realized it was affecting her life.
So the size 30 vet decided to make a change in 2013, going to a weight loss group called Slimming World. Soon after, she gave up her junk food habit. Instead of bringing chips to work, she brought fruit. And she started her days with a healthy breakfast of poached eggs, beans, or fruit, rather than biscuits.
Her group kept her motivated as she set new goals for herself. As the months went on, the pounds began to melt away. And after she had a special surgery to snip away excess skin left over from the weight loss, she found herself at a happy 161 pounds and size 12. And she still is today.
Nearly half the weight she was before, she's reminded every day of how far she's come.
"Some customers have asked reception where that 'big vet with the short hair' is," Blackwell said. "My colleagues tell them it’s me and at first they don’t believe it. I have had to show them my name badge and say 'it’s me, Amy.'"
PLUS: See some of the most inspiring weight loss transformations below.