TODAY

TODAY   |  November 18, 2013

Woman who lost 250 lbs: I am ‘new person’ at 63

TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer welcomes Kathi Williams, who lost 250 pounds after a lifetime of struggling with her weight, into the Joy Fit Club. Kathi now has a new confidence and feels like she can conquer the world.

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

>>> we're back with look at me now "the joy fit club " and a woman who decided to stop the binge eating and get healthy.

>> at nearly 400 pounds, kathy williams was tired of being so tired. she joined an exercise program that changed her life. we're going to meet her in a second. first, let's listen to her story.

>> my name is kathy . i'm 63 years old. i once weighed 387 pounds, but have lost 250 pounds. due to health problems related to morbid obesity, i ached all over and walked with a strange gait. i was tired all the time, and easily short of breath with minimal exertion. getting out of bed in the morning was a battle due to pain and/or depression. i often spent an entire weekend in bed, except to gorge on junk food . a friend joined curves and we took advantage of a two for one special, the start of a change for me. slowly i managed to look forward to exercising and the side effect of the weight loss was a bonus. food no longer consumes me. i consume it and enjoy every minute of it. my hypertension, high cholesterol , fibromyalgia and depression are now history. there are still minor struggles, but i'm a new person inside and out, with a new confidence and strength to conquer the world .

>> fantastic story. we're here with today's nutritionist, joy bauer, and dr. evelyn, atia, director for the center for eating disorders . how lucky are we to have you with us today?

>> i love the story because it is both. i don't love the heart breaking part, but it is heart breaking and heart warming . she struggled with emotional abuse her entire life. but it is so incredibly heart warming because in her 60s, later in life, she completely turned things around. and it is so inspiring to people watching because it shows you that it is never too late. it doesn't matter how many years you had bad habits under your belt, you can get healthy.

>> we'll talk with the good doctor about the binge and yo-yo dieting and that kind of thing in a second. tell us what she ate and we'll bring kathy out.

>> because we'll talk about the bingeing, this is that she used to binge on late in the evenings. half gallon of ice cream , lots of m&ms. she had a whole stick of butter with a family size bag of pretzels. i never heard about that before. each about 2,000 calories. she has things like humus and carrots, yogurt, pistachio nuts. she nixed the binge eating at night.

>> let's look at kathy before, guys. kathy , come join "the joy fit club ."

>> oh, my god.

>> look at her arms. look at those guns.

>> oh, my gosh.

>> let's look at you.

>> wow.

>> spin right around.

>> she has not had any surgery to get rid of excess skin. this is all her.

>> miraculous. how long did it take you?

>> about three years.

>> nice and steady.

>> 250 pounds down.

>> so all those ailments we talked about, have they fannished?

>> pretty much they have vanished. i still struggle slightly, but it is a whole new world and a whole new me and it is great.

>> we talked about emotional eating . can one stop binge eating ? is that possible to put the brakes on it?

>> binge eating is very treatable. and it is really getting increasing recognition. it is a condition with this kind of a pattern of out of control, excessive, distressing eating and it is commonly associated with depression and anxiety and we can really --

>> how is it treated?

>> a lot of focused psychotherapies that are helpful. they structure things, they help you pay attention to what you're eating and how you're taking care of yourself. many of those features are really what kathy put in place. she used curves, but there are a number of focus ways of taking care of this.

>> it is a great website, national eating disorder.org that people can go to for help.

>> congratulations.