Jamie Forzato, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Sally Adams has a normal life. She is a busy, working mom in her 40s. She lives in Dupont Circle with her 5-year-old son and loving husband. But she was struggling with a very public problem -- morbid obesity.
A couple of years ago, she decided to change her life.
It wasn't always a challenge for Adams to be healthy. In her younger years, Adams was a fit athlete -- a field hockey and swimming star -- but she still experienced self-image problems.
"I didn't see myself as thin when I was thin. And I didn't see myself as fat when I was morbidly obese," she says.
A string of injuries caused her to stop exercising. At 21, she tore her ACL. At 32, she fell down a staircase and broke her tibia, fibula, ankle and 10 bones in her foot.
"When I showed up at G.W. hospital, they told me I was not going to walk again normally and I would never run or move fast again," Adams says.
She also suffered two miscarriages before getting pregnant with her son.
"I never got a chance to get my feet under me. Some of my worst eating habits were born out of this time," she says.
At her heaviest, Adams weighed in at 352 pounds.
"My 'aha' moment was that I was watching football with my husband and I realized I outweighed the entire defensive line. And I said to myself, 'That just can't be. You're going to die,'" she says.
Getting control of her life became a priority in a bold way, so she agreed to take her weight loss public on "ABC's Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition."
She lost an astonishing 138 pounds on the show, but she says it wasn't easy.
"Some days I would be roaring to go and other days I would get up in the morning and think I would rather hit myself in the face with the hammer right now than go to the gym. But somehow 20 minutes later I would on a piece of apparatus and I would be OK," she says.
It wasn't just the weight loss that is shocking. Sally decreased her body fat from 52 percent to 27 percent, put on muscle, brought her blood sugar down from pre- diabetic levels, and now has a resting heart rate in the 40s.
"It was an amazing turnaround in a one-year period. Instead of being someone who is on the border of needing a whole bunch of medications and on the verge of premature death, I've increased my positive odds and added years to my life," she says.
She credits her success to her family, trainers, and even strangers who pushed her to new heights.
Her advice to others who are going through similar challenges: "It's one foot in front of the other. One step in front of the other. One minute in front of the other."
Watch Sally's episode.
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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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