CLEVELAND - Jamie Johnston has spent her entire life being overweight.
"Actually, I was born pre-mature, weighing 5 pounds, so I guess I can't say ‘always,'" the Broadview Heights native joked.
Even in high school when Jamie played on the basketball team, the many hours spent being active were overcompensated by food.
"I thought I was destined to be overweight. I remember going to bed thinking how amazing it would be if I was just wearing a fat suit (like in the movies) and would be able to take it off in the morning."
In 2011, Jamie weighed in at 349 pounds. Unhappy with herself, that's when she decided it was time to turn her life around. With the support of her husband, she joined her Weight Watchers at Work program at Cleveland State University.
"He was nothing short of supportive and he let me know that he loved me and thought I was beautiful no matter what."
To help motivate her further, Jamie told her husband to begin saving money and when she reaches her weight loss goal, they were going to New York City on a shopping spree.
"You see, NYC is my favorite city, but a girl of 350 pounds wouldn't be able to find a darn thing to wear there."
Jamie's first Weight Watchers meeting was on April 26, 2011 and since that time, she has lost an admirable 177 pounds – half of her body weight.
"I have worked my butt off -- in more ways than one. I now run (gasp, I know seriously) and ran in my first 5K, averaging 10:16 a mile…I love this program and how it has transformed my life."
Jamie's activity level has skyrocketed and her self-esteem grown leaps and bounds.
"Friends are now asking me for weight loss advice -- who would have thought? I have also spoken at some Weight Watchers events, sharing my story and that this is possible."
On May 19 in Cleveland, Jamie is running in her first half marathon, having trained months for this monumental event. Her goal is to run it without stopping and just finish. We have no doubt she will do just that!