Benes spent most of her life overweight. She was obese as a child, and by the time she was 25, Benes weighed in at 376 lbs. “Every choice I made regarding what I fuelled my body with and how much exercised I did was all up to me,” she says. “I had no one else to blame for my poor decisions that led me to being nearly 400 lbs.” But that changed on April 2, 2018, when Benes decided to sign up for a local weight loss program in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Over 15 weeks, she dropped 100 lbs. thanks to a personal trainer, nutrition coaching and regular bootcamp classes. But the hardest part, she says, is when that ended and she had to do it on her own. “I had to understand that this was no longer a diet, and that it had to become my lifestyle,” she says. Benes kept up her daily workouts and nutrition plan, and by January, just 10 months later, she was down to 175 lbs. She’s maintained that now, with a few pounds of buffer, for the last year with the help of Real Appeal, a weight loss support program. “My weight-loss journey came at a point in my life where my weight was something I faced every day and led me to a constant state of depression,” she says. “Through the struggle I encountered during my journey, I came to realise that the most difficult road had led to the most beautiful journey of my life.”
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