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Weight loss success: Maggie Sorrells

  • Story Highlights
  • Maggie Sorrells could no longer squeeze into restaurant booths at 440 pounds
  • Doctors had warned her that she might not live to the age of 30
  • She shed 300 pounds following a faith-based weight loss program
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By Jacqueline Adams
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(CNN) -- No longer able to fit into a booth at a restaurant and too embarrassed to ask for seatbelt extensions on an airplane, Maggie Sorrells was desperate to lose weight.

Maggie Sorrells

Maggie Sorrells lost 300 pounds and went from wearing a size 5X or 64 in men's clothing to a size 6.

The day she stepped on a hospital scale and realized she weighed 440 pounds she knew she had to do something.

Name: Maggie Sorrells
Age: 32
Hometown: Franklin, Tennessee
Occupation: Receptionist in doctor's office
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Heaviest weight: 440 pounds
Current weight: 140 pounds
Pounds lost: 300 pounds

Defining moment
The moment I saw that I weighed as much as I did, it scared me, and I knew I had to do something about it.

How did you finally lose the weight?
Diet: Weigh Down Workshop, a faith-based weight loss program. I ate whatever I craved, but only when I was truly hungry, and then I ate a lot slower, so I could tell when to stop.

Exercise: Nothing out of the ordinary, occasionally I'd go for a walk, but never because I felt like I had to.

How long did it take you to lose weight?
Four years with two pregnancies within the same time period. One month after I lost 300 pounds, I became pregnant for the third time with my son.

How has this changed your life?
Drastically, the way I eat, the way I live my life. I am able to move better. I feel better emotionally and physically. I'm just a much happier person.

I love to hike and I could never go when I was big. I almost killed myself going a half-mile. My chest would hurt and I would think I was having a heart attack. Just after we had our daughter, we went hiking all day and climbed rocks.

I also love the beach. I'm no longer ashamed to go to the beach or wear a bathing suit.

Do you have any tips for other people who want to lose weight?
Yes, don't think about how much weight you have to lose because you'll get overwhelmed and discouraged. Set small goals, like 15 pounds. There were times I wanted to give up and there were days I felt like I couldn't do this. Food was my drug. Take [weight loss] in small increments because when you lose 15 pounds you'll be excited and before you know it you'll lose 50.

Perseverance is most important. If you mess up, especially in the beginning you're going to slip. Don't say, "I'll start over Monday." Start over right now. The worst enemy is if you give up. What got me to the end, to losing 300 pounds, was persevering. On days I wanted to eat the whole bowl of something -- I had to talk myself through it. The truth was, I really wasn't hungry. Food is so much better when you're hungry. Andy, my husband, eats what he wants to eat. But instead of eating an entire gallon of ice cream, he'll just have a scoop of ice cream.

Read: Andy Sorrells' weight loss success story

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