At 20-years-old, Andie Mitchell weighed nearly 300 lbs. — and she was terrified.
Her father had died of a stroke at the age of 40 — weighing 350 lbs. — and she could tell she was headed down a similar path.
"I knew that there were future versions of me that were bigger and bigger," she tells the 'New York Post.' "I was 20-years-old. I didn't want to turn 21 having never felt good about myself."
(Photo Credit: canyoustayfordinner.com)
Little did she know, losing the weight would prove to be tougher than she ever imagined — and lead to a crippling depression.
Mitchell began keeping a food diary, walking everywhere and cutting out sugar. But pretty soon, her life became a prison of calorie-counting and cravings.
"I felt that deep longing for sweets. Come 8 or 9 pm, my stomach felt hollow. I wanted cake. I wanted chocolate. I couldn't watch television without looking at my lap, where I wished there could be a bowl of crunchy something," the now 29-year-old writes in her memoir, 'It Was Me All Along.'
Within a summer, she had lost 30 lbs., and eventually slimmed down to 135 lbs., undergoing surgery to remove the excess fat.
While at first she felt "attractive and and desirable and valuable," Mitchell admits, "it was a very hard time for me."
The incredible weight loss eventually led to depression. "Food is fun. Food makes up some of my best memories, and I was changing my relationship to food and it changed my relationship with everyone else," she explains to the New York Post.
After undergoing countless therapy sessions, the gorgeous brunette has finally found a weight that she's comfortable at: 150 lbs.
"It's taken me 10 years to find a weight where I feel like, 'I'm good here.'...It's when you don't have to turn down an Oreo," she reveals.
In an effort to help others experiencing similar hardships, Mitchell has charted her entire journey on her blog, 'Can You Stay For Dinner?' and in her memoir, 'It Was Me All Along.'
"It was a catharsis that I didn't know I needed," she says of writing about her experience. "It turned it into something meaningful."
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