Name: Tanya Leno

Age: 50

City: Union City

There I was with my husband and two sons, aboard a flight to the Grand Canyon, and I had to ask the flight attendant for a seat belt extension. I was humiliated.

I was already battling high blood pressure, but it wasn't until a routine doctor's visit that I thought about taking the steps necessary to change my lifestyle and relationship with food. I stepped on the scale, and it read 341 pounds.

I talked to my doctor about the possibility of gastric bypass surgery, but she discouraged such a drastic measure and instead encouraged me to get active and join Weight Watchers.

I resisted that suggestion and embarked upon my own journey that included modifying my diet and light activity. I managed to lose 36 pounds in 10 months, but I hit a plateau.

I returned to my physician, and she again suggested Weight Watchers. This time, I took her advice and attended my first meeting in October 2006. I immediately began to see results.

Encouraged by my meeting leader to increase my activity, I started an at-home 12-week cardio kickboxing and a six-day-a-week body sculpting fitness plan. Proud of my results, I took my fitness to the next level and joined the Lady Dragons cardio-kickboxing class twice a week at the Dragons Den Mixed Martial Arts studio in Union City. These sweat sessions solidified my love for kickboxing and inspired me to work hard to stay fit.


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I finally found an activity that I love and look forward to doing. Not only has kickboxing gotten me into the best physical condition of my life, it's a great stress reliever and confidence builder.

Attending weekly Weight Watchers meetings, I managed to shed 165 pounds in two years and 10 months!

Being fit and seeing how my success has encouraged others to become healthy is the greatest inspiration and motivator of all. A diet of hard work, discipline, dedication and determination has given me a new body and a new life.

Sometimes it's hard to comprehend what I've managed to accomplish and maintain for more than five years without surgery. But each time I look in the mirror and see the new healthy me, I can say: I did it!

Have you lost a significant amount of weight, or did you finally lose those stubborn last 10 pounds? If so, we'd like to hear your story. Tell us in 400 words or fewer about your weight-loss journey. Send your stories to mross@bayareanewsgroup.com with the subject line "weight loss story." Include your name, age and city and a contact phone number. Also, send before and after pictures in JPG format, if available.