TODAY   |  April 15, 2013

See how this woman lost 280 pounds

TODAY’s nutritionist Joy Bauer introduces Kathie Lee and Hoda to Candice Williams who dropped 280 pounds over  the course of three and a half years by exercising, cutting back on fried seafood and making her own desserts.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and we're back now with look at me now, the joy fit club . the newest member is 27-year-old candace williams.

>> like a lot of people, she struggled with weight for much of her life and now is down a whopping 280 pounds. let's take a look at her story.

>> hi, my name is candace . since i can remember, i've always had issues with my weight. growing up, i was bigger than most kids in school and i was bullied and teased every day. i felt like an outsider among my classmates and refused to even be pictured in my high school year book. i tried losing weight with weight watchers and would only gain it back. i wasn't mentally ready to separate hunger from my emotions. what caused my light bulb to go off? in 2009 i was required to do a health assessment for my job. i was so heavy the scale couldn't calculate my weight at 460 pounds. i was beyond embarrassed, mortified and ashamed. the pain i felt that day was worse than the teasing and bullying i had suffered throughout my life. i went home that day, i ate, i cried and i ate some more. i went back to wait watchers and lost my first 100 pounds just by eating better. i added exercise into my life and not only did my body change, but my outlook on life did, too. it is a hard road to lose weight but it's not impossible. today i'm 280 pounds lighter and i live by the motto, eat less, move more and create no excuses.

>> wow. it looks like she does have a lot of supportive friends. before we meet her, let's talk to joy.

>> as we see, this is a really, really special young lady and in the midst of being a full-time student and taking care of her mom and sister who have health issues, she has lost more than the two of you put together. so how did she do this? it was overwhelming for her to look at the big picture . so instead she made mini meals. every mini goals, every single week, she gave herself a new tangible, manageable goal. she loved frozen, fried french fries . so one week she set out to master a delicious low-calorie fish. so this is tilapia, she puts a little parmesan, italian seasonings and wrap it is in tin foil and puts it in the oven. frozen shepherd's pie, the fattening one is 650 calories. this is her slim style. green beans , lean ground turkey, a little bit of mashed potatoes, reduced fat cheese. let's look at her before picture. all right, candace , come join the joy fit club .

>> wow!

>> you're beautiful.

>> thank you.

>> it's a whole new you.

>> you look, can you believe it.

>> can i tell you something -- you hold the other side.

>> no, no indeed.

>> is that wild?

>> i know.

>> you look beautiful.

>> three and a half years.

>> but nice and slow and steady.

>> every single day.

>> and you can climb mountains right now.

>> my goal right now is to climb the highest mountain in each state and i've done three already and my goal is georgia's this month.

>> thank you, thank you.

>>> tomorrow, brooke shields is going to join us.

>> plus a performance from the very cool band, walk off the earth.

>>> and "lost in suburbia." see