Through dropping more than 100 pounds, a San Marcos woman has gained a brand new confidence and an inspiring story of perseverance that has traveled as far as the United Kingdom.
Emma Pope, 23, has spent the last 4 years slowly but surely shedding the pounds. At her heaviest, the college student weighted 319 pounds. She is now weighing in at 175 pounds and sporting her shocking transformation.
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"I was done being 'the fat girl.' I wanted my inside to match my outside appearance," she said. "I had always been the big girl and one day it clicked to me, that I had the power to make that change."
In addition to working and majoring in applied sciences at Temple College, the young woman said she works out at least 4 times a week for about an hour-and-a-half and maintains a healthy diet, of course. She chronicles her 4-year journey on , including grocery hauls which include items like flax milk, turkey burgers, Greek yogurt and Agave Five natural sweeteners.
Pope said she lost her first 80 pounds during the first two years, then 50 pounds in the last half of her journey.
"I think it's great to do it slowly so your mind has time to adapt to the physical change," she said.
"My life has changed tremendously. I cannot imagine where I would be if I hadn't made the positive change in my life," she said. "As bittersweet as it is, people treat you so different when you're not fat."
Pope added that she was once bullied on a "daily basis" because of her weight, but said the body-shaming was not her motivation, she did it all for herself. But proving her doubters wrong still makes the victory that much sweeter, she said.
"Wanting to be a better, healthier person is what fueled my fire," she said. "Having people bully me and then turn around and apologize years later after seeing how successful my life turned out was just the cherry on top of it all."