‘Big Shock’: 300lb Woman Loses Half Her Body Weight After Seeing Photos of Herself

March 9, 2019 Updated: March 22, 2019

Life has a way of delivering wakeup calls to us when we let ourselves go too far off track. It’s a good thing that 33-year-old mom Ashleigh, from North Dakota, got hers in time. She’d let her weight get out of control; she knew she had to turn it around, but most importantly of all, she realized that she had the power to do it.

Going from tipping the scales at nearly 300 pounds (approx. 136 kg) and losing 143 pounds (approx. 65 kg), literally half her body weight, is an achievement by any measure.

Still, Ashleigh couldn’t believe it when she got a message on Instagram from the producer of “The Rachael Ray Show” asking if they could fly her to New York to be on an episode. They were so inspired by her weight loss success that they’d teamed up with People magazine to feature her on the show and in People’s “Half Their Size” edition.

Have y'all ever bought glasses online before??? I tried it a few years back, when I had found some coupon code for "buy…

Ashleigh Kugler 发布于 2016年2月1日周一

Ever since Ashleigh was a little girl, she’d had a weight problem, plus she’d also been somewhat of a tomboy and hadn’t a clue about fashion. Perhaps that’s because none of the clothes in the store fit her, and she would have to special-order extra plus-sizes. Huge jeans, yoga pants, and hoodies were all that she knew.

After eventually meeting her weight loss goal, Ashleigh had promised herself a makeover to embellish her look, and she figured that Rachael Ray was the perfect opportunity for that. She just wanted to look “classy,” she said.

So, when the big day came, Rachael called her out onstage in front of the cameras and a live TV audience. Ashleigh wore a stunning red gown; her hair and face were done up like a million bucks (courtesy of Rachael Ray), and it was the crowning achievement of all she’d worked for. Ashleigh was beaming.

Following the show, a photographer from People was already onstage to do a shoot for the article that they planned to feature her in. And she also shared her life’s story with the reporter who was there. It went something like this:

Food had always been her “comfort,” her “best friend,” regardless of whether she was happy, sad, or bored.

“I had two sets of grandparents that lived on the same farm and I would go to one house and eat snacks and cookies, and then come back to the other house and say that I never ate. Looking back, that absolutely is not normal behavior for a 3-year-old.”

By age 12, Ashleigh was wearing size-38 men’s jeans. As she grew older (and larger), her eating had simply gotten out of control. She would consume an entire box of sugary cereal in one go along with a case of cakes. Then she would hide the wrappers from her mother by putting them at the bottom of the garbage bin.

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Posted by Ashleigh Kugler on Friday, 10 February 2017

She couldn’t go on rides at the amusement parks because they were unable to close the metal safety bar down. She was unable to ride in her friend’s car because she couldn’t buckle her seatbelt around her waist. By the age of 19, Ashleigh weighed a staggering 288 pounds (approx. 131 kg).

It was then that she saw something that shook her into having an epiphany: she saw herself in a bunch of recent photos that included her in them. Although family members had made suggestions about losing weight before, and she knew she ate too much, seeing those photos really drove the point home.

“I knew I was overweight,” she told People. “But for some reason, in that moment, I just stepped outside my body and I realized: This is what you actually look like and you are probably not going to live to see 30 if you continue on this way. And it was just a big shock.”

Sometimes there are just no words. Good God. 🙈💪🏽 #transformationtuesday

Ashleigh Kugler 发布于 2016年7月12日周二

I started my journey when I was 19 and in hair school. I'll never forget going through makeup class and learning…

Ashleigh Kugler 发布于 2016年3月4日周五

And that was what it took for Ashleigh to turn her life around. When Weight Watchers came to town, she decided to give them a go for a week and see what was doable, even though she doubted herself. To her surprise, she lost over 11 pounds (approx. 5 kg) in just one week. Suddenly, she realized that she could do this!

“I was hellbent and bound and determined after that week,” she said.

Through portion control and exercise, and also cutting out processed foods entirely, she moved mountains. In 2019, after giving birth to her first son Ethan, Ashleigh has lost a total of 143 pounds (approx. 65 kg).

Meanwhile, social media became a form of moral support for Ashleigh along her journey. Photos show her progress on Facebook and Instagram—which is how Rachael Ray’s producer found her. Ashleigh recalled seeing issues of Half Their Weight in People magazine as a teenager. Sometimes she would even say to herself, “Maybe one day.” Never in her wildest dreams did she ever expect to find herself in People magazine and on Rachael Ray having done it for herself.

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