In March of this year, I stepped on my bathroom scale, afraid to look down. My weight had climbed to a horrific number – 263 pounds – after a decade and a half of minimal physical activity, out-of-control portion sizes, emotionally charged eating binges, and a torrid love affair with carbs. At 29 years old and clinically labeled “morbidly obese,” I was already suffering the ill effects of carrying nearly 300 pounds on my small 5′ 3″ frame. For about three years, my feet have ached every morning upon waking, and the pain continued through the day. The previous several months saw a sharp decrease in my energy levels, which had been already abysmally low. I was in a place where I’d wake up in the morning and cry because I was so tired and couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed. Additionally, my PMS symptoms were horrible. One day, I yelled and cussed at my poor mother for God remembers what. It was her birthday. I felt horrible, but in the back of my mind I was grateful that I had been ugly to her and not my kids; it was she who suggested it seemed hormonal.