Catherine Shanklin, a resident of Oklahoma City, weighed a gigantic 420lbs at one point.
Consequently, she found simple tasks like tying her shoes or climbing a few stairs extremely exhausting and would be left struggling for breath even after the least exertion.
Watch her amazing transformation story below.
Video credit: Rumble
Being extremely obese caused a number of health issues for Catherine who suffered from immune disorders, polycystic ovaries, hypertension, and diabetes.
Doctors advised her to take control of her body weight if she wanted to avoid further health complications.
After repeated warnings from her doctors, Catherine decided to lose weight naturally and was able to shed an unbelievable 260lbs of weight.
However, the journey towards a perfect body has still just begun for Catherine who’s now left with approximately 20lbs of extra skin that needs to be removed surgically.
She has to wait for the surgery until her body heals from the invasive vein removal procedures she had.
The transformation is not only astonishing for others but also for Catherine herself. “It took me exactly three years to lose the weight,” she told Barcroft TV.
“It still shocks me when I see pictures and I’m like is that really me? I am so glad I stayed the course to do it on my own and opted out of having surgery.”
Catherine explained her relation with food as her ‘second soulmate.’
She said: “I feel sad, I am going to eat, I am bored I am going to eat, it is an emotional connection that I had with it that literally I knew I had to break up with it.
“It is an addiction; I think it is just like a drug or anything else.
“Being 420lbs we would go to an amusement park and I was the one standing on the side lines just waiting there for everybody to have fun.
“Riding on a plane, I was the person that had to have that extra seat belt all the time and sometimes probably need two or three extenders.
“I was being held back from so many things and just the simple things like tying your own shoe, like being out of breath or going up stairs.”
Catherine was warned by her doctors time and again that she needed to lose weight but she never took that advice very seriously.
She managed to lose small amounts and after some time gained even more. However, at one point, she realized that weight loss was not only necessary but also possible if she tried a bit harder.
She said: “I will never forget it, I was sitting in my car in a parking lot at the doctor’s office and I left the doctor’s office again for probably the 18th time that year, being told that I should have gastric bypass surgery. I had told them over and over again: ‘No I can do this on my own.’
“And I remember getting into my car and realizing more than anything that I wanted this, I needed to do this. And I just prayed to God and asked Him that he would give me the strength to be able to do this.”
Catherine made a list of all the reasons why she wanted to lose weight and pasted the reasons, written on paper, around her house for motivation.
She said: “I could look at those and remind myself that it is worth it to keep working on myself.”
Catherine replaced the burgers, pizza, and steaks on her menu with veggies and fruits, which she never liked before and adopted an active lifestyle consisting of regular gym, walks, jogging and hiking.
She worked equally on exercise and diet to lose all that weight.
She explained her weight loss journey, saying: “It was really just learning portion control and staying away from a lot of processed foods.
“I learned there is flavor in vegetables, which are amazing.”
What Catherine didn’t want or expect was the loose skin she’s left with after losing the extra 260lbs.
She said: “When I started, I didn’t even think about the loose skin part of it. I feel like I have a gravity force against me constantly pulling me forward.
“And even though you try not to let it get in your head it affects you mentally, the way you look at yourself, you did all this hard work and then you look in the mirror and all you see is all this loose skin.”
Catherine was going to have a skin removal surgery this summer but it was to be preceded by an excruciating vein removal procedure.
She said: “I ended up having blood costs that were forming. And so it was just one of those things that for safety reasons there was no way to have the surgery.”
Now that she has to wait until 2020 for her skin removal surgery, Catherine has 400 scar marks on her legs to show off her transformation.
She said: “This was supposed to be my victory story of the loose skin being gone but instead now I get to show off the scarring from something that was not supposed to happen.
“I hope that next year that I am going to have that skin removal surgery.”
The silver lining for Catherine is that the money she raised for her surgery through GoFundMe is in her account and she now has a bit more time to raise some extra money to cover the expenses of her surgery.
Catherine told the details of her weight loss journey, saying: “What made me succeed is every time I failed, I got back up, dusted myself off and then I would start over again.
“And guess what it could be the next day that I failed again but I did the same thing I got back up, and I kept trying.”
For all who think they can’t have such a transformation, Catherine has this message: “This isn’t about being the skinniest person or the strongest person.
“It’s about being healthy and being happy with who you are and filling that confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re 400, 500 pounds just get out there, just start walking.
“It’s not going to happen overnight but you take those small steps and guess what you’re going to fall.
“There’s going to be days when you are going to fall flat on your face but when you get back up, every time you get back up it does make you stronger.
“And I guarantee you anyone can do this. They just have to want it. They have to find that fight.”
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