Woman sheds 250 pounds after a health scare turned her life around

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HOLMES COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — More than 200 pounds in four years is how much weight a local teacher lost to pursue her goal to feel healthier than ever, but she is not stopping there.

On Monday, Ponce De Leon High School teacher Donna Hicks is on the road to a long recovery, in Atlanta, but said it is all worth it.

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After suffering a spinal cord injury four years ago which could have been caused by her obesity, Hicks said it was a wake-up call and she knew she had to make a change for her health.

“Because I know people will look at it and think, ‘Man she was big!’ and I was, and I didn’t see it back then,” said Hicks.

Following a low-carb diet, intermittent fasting, and setting goals Hicks said she has never felt this confident and healthy before.

“You know, going to 150 lbs, and then eventually going to 200 lbs, and then as of today I have lost 250 lbs,” she said.

Hicks described herself as a side-line person. There were activities she physically could not participate in because of being overweight.

“It’s hard to fathom that I still do not weigh what I did four years ago,” she said. “But it’s also nice to be able to not have to plan where I can sit in a restaurant because you couldn’t sit in a booth at that point in life.”

This whole weight-loss journey has taught Hicks not to judge others, and see the power of goal-setting.

“I think it’s important that we teach our students to set goals no matter what that area is,” she said. “Even if it’s something personal, something academically, something with relation to their health. And I hope that even if one person sees this story and says, ‘look what she’s accomplished, I can do that,’ then it will be worth it, worth sharing my story.”

Her seventh-grade students Gracie and Madison said Hicks inspired them to set their own long-term goals.

“It helps me look forward to the way I set my goals and the way how I want to do it,” said Madison.

“When I was younger I used to weigh more,” said Gracie. “And people used to pick on me all the time, so seeing her change, helps me know that I can get better and keep going.”

Starting Monday, Hicks will be going through one of four skin removal surgeries out of Atlanta. This will help with her overall mobility, ultimately allowing her to check off items on her bucket list. Including shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, which she said she has not really done before.

“I have a grandchild that is due in five weeks and so I want to be able to get on the floor with her and play with her and that is one of the biggest goals that I have for right now,” said Hicks.

Everybody has a different weight loss journey Hicks said. What worked for her over the years, may not work for you. Although, if you have questions, she said she can step in as an accountability partner.

To get in touch with Hicks you can visit the Ponce De Leon High School website.

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