Starting at 414 Pounds, Noelle Dropped 210 Pounds Without Surgery

Whether you're trying to lose a little or a lot of weight, you'll find Noelle's story truly relatable and inspiring. She told POPSUGAR, "I have been obese most of my adult life. I became morbidly obese about four years ago." She realized she needed to make a change in June 2016 when she took her kids for a visit to the zoo, explaining, "they were forced to wait for me every 10 to 15 minutes due to back pain and being out of breath." She decided to face the scale, but when she stepped on it, the scale just read "error." She thought the scale needed new batteries, but Noelle recognized that in "reality I was past the weight limit." Noelle weighed in at 414 pounds and said she was basically just existing.

Noelle began her weight-loss journey in July 2016, and after one year, she has dropped just over half her bodyweight — 207 pounds! Her current weight is 204, and now she feels like she's actually living. Noelle said, "I am loving life and so grateful that I chose to love myself. I have gained so much over the last year and couldn't be happier."

So what was her secret? No surgery, pills, or "slimming" body wraps. She followed Optavia, a medically designed program, which she learned about from her cousin, a health coach for the company, who was looking for motivated individuals who wanted to get healthy. Noelle jumped at the opportunity. Because she was so successful, Noelle decided to become an Optavia coach, too, saying, "I've decided to pay it forward and become a health coach. I want others to feel as incredible as I do. I have helped a lot of people transform their lives and love being able to give back."

Her meals and snacks consist of five premade Optavia Fuelings (oatmeal, cereal, cin swirl cake, ziti marinara, protein brownie, shakes, bars, etc.) and one lean and green meal that consists of a lean protein and veggie. For exercise, during the first six months Noelle went for walks, then she slowly started incorporating lifting weights to focus on toning.

As someone who has lost half her bodyweight, Noelle's tip for others on their own weight-loss journeys is to remember "progress, not perfection." Believe you can do it and be patient — it's not going to happen overnight. Making small, achievable goals is key, too. She said, "If I focused on needing to lose 200-plus pounds I would have been easily discouraged and overwhelmed. I focused on getting to 399 and then set 20-pound goals for myself." And finally, Noelle says that even though she hit four plateaus, she stuck with the program because "whether the scale is moving or not, I am improving my health every day by making the right choices and moving my body. Remember to never give up what you want most for what you want today."