10/07/2013 04:22 EDT

Weight Lost: How Kevin Carter Lost 219 Pounds

Kevin Carter

WHO: Kevin Carter, Personal care worker

AGE: 36

CITY: Botwood, N.L.

By The Numbers: 393 pounds at my starting point, and currently 174, total weight loss 219 pounds.

The Weight Gain: As a kid my weight always went up and down but I can't remember a time when I was actually comfortable in my own skin. I remember for most of my childhood being made fun of for being overweight and as a kid this was very detrimental to my self esteem. I always felt embarrassed and self conscious in social situations and always wondered what the other kids were saying about me.

I tried diet after diet, exercise routine after exercise routine but like I said these diets and programs would be short lived. I tried slim fast, herbalife, LiteWay (Weight Loss Group), Richard Simmons sweating to the Oldies and even Alyssa Milano's Exercise Program "TEEN STEAM."

The Final Straw: Prior to losing the weight I was experiencing shortness of breath, prone to chest infections that would last up to two months at a time. I had high blood pressure, high blood sugars, sore joints, infections in the skin folds, and other health problems. I was at a point where I was wearing 4 XL t-shirts and the only pants I could wear were track pants. Living in a small town made it difficult to find clothes that fit.

I was very afraid for my life and was afraid that the next breath I took was going to be my last. My husband always wanted me to start eating healthy and my answer would be that I would start Monday — it took a very long time for Monday to come. On July 14, 2010, I finally took it upon myself to go to the next TOPS meeting and that is when my journey began.

Story Continues Below. Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories:

Lost It: Weight Loss Success Stories

The Plan Of Attack: I joined TOPS on July 14, 2010, and it was on that date that I changed my life. I practiced proper portion control and began exercising. It was a major adjustment for me especially since I was used to eating such large amounts of unhealthy, greasy foods. When I began exercising I started out with doing five minute walks and by the time I finished that I would be severely sweating, but as time progressed my walking times increased.

In the first year I had reached my goal of losing 209 pounds (from July to July) and exactly one year later I underwent skin removal surgery and to remove 10 pounds of excess skin.

The Food Element: I started eating leaner meats, whole grains and more veggies and was always being conscious of fat intake, calories, sodium intake and sugars. It's not so much what I gave up, it was more about what was going to benefit me and my new healthy lifestyle. I lived by the philosophy that the way I eat today is the way I want to eat for the rest of my life. However, I did cut pop out and I stopped eating high fat foods.

The hardest adjustment was getting my head around portion control, it was a complete learning curve for me and my family, but as we worked together we figured things out and noticed how these changes changed my life.

The Exercise Factor:

I did all my exercise in nature or in the comfort of my own home. I walked, did step aerobics, and did the Biggest Loser Challenge on my Wii Fit and sometimes I hiked.

I always had fitness goals: My weight loss goals were in 20 pound increments but I wanted to lose 175 pounds altogether. When I got to that goal I kept losing and felt I could lose a bit more. Since reaching my goal I have been in maintenance since July of 2011.

The Current Day-To-Day: These days are awesome. I have so much vision for the future and ambition. I still engage in an hour to hour and a half of exercise everyday.

I am most proud of the fact that I had the will to take my life back and make the changes necessary to get me to the point where I have been comfortable in my own skin. The fact that I have none of the health issues that I had prior to July 2010.

My advice: That you all can do it... Take charge of your life and make the changes necessary to get the weight off. You can get back the YOU that YOU have so long desired. TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME, ONE POUND AT A TIME!

Got a success story of your own? Send it to us at and you could be featured on the site!

Or follow us on Twitter