Natalie Strawn, a 20-year-old Nebraska teen who was once 562 pounds, showed off her weight loss of 282 pounds and shared her success story on national television on Monday.
Strawn, standing at 5-foot-10-inches tall, told ABC's Good Morning America she weighed 550 pounds by age 17 and could barely walk let alone fit into a car to drive it.
When you're 562 pounds, they don't make cars for people that size, Strawn told GMA.
Weighing over one-quarter of a ton and years of being depressed, Strawn told GMA that she used to eat compulsively to combat her feelings of depression.
I was a depressed child growing up, so I used food as comfort. I didn't have any friends but I had food, so I ate, she said, admitting sometimes her breakfast consisted of a one-pound bag of chips, covered in entire cans of cheese, beans and ranch dressing.
After years of taunting in the hallways at school from students who called her a tub of lard, Strawn dropped out of school and got her GED.
Strawn felt that she missed out on most of her life and decided to make a healthy choice for herself: She joined Weight Watchers.
With excellent success over the course of three years, Strawn has lost 282 pounds through diet and exercise. But it wasn't easy at first.
It wasn't until I lost about 100 pounds that I could start exercising, she said. I started doing chair aerobics and it was 18 minutes long and it was the longest 18 minutes of my life. The first time I did it I was so out of breath and I was drenched in sweat.
Strawn said her mother, Rita, who is also on a mission for weight loss, has helped her throughout the way with support.
While she lost 282 pounds and no longer wears a size 44 jeans, Strawn has aspirations to lose even more weight.
My dream weight is 168, she said, adding that she hopes to go to college for Nutrition and eventually work for Weight Watchers someday.
Natalie Strawn said she continues to work out daily with a 2-mile DVD exercise video.
Since her amazing success story became national news, Strawn has already suceeded in helping inspire others to do the same.
I have a lot of weight to lose, Facebook user Alexis Maya wrote on Natalie Strawn's page. Sometimes I think I can't do it. You helped me know I can do it!!
View the video below to see Natalie Strawn debuting her 282-pound weight loss on ABC's Good Morning America.