Savannah woman featured in People Magazine's 'Half Their Size' - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah woman now half her size

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Anyone who has ever lost a significant amount of weight knows it's a journey with good and bad days. 

A Savannah woman showed that instead of focusing on her failures, she celebrated her small victories with positive self talk.

"I used to not be able to see my toes, so the fact that I can stretch without effort, touch my toes, not just my toes but the ground beneath my toes, is tremendous accomplishment," said Val McLeod.

McLeod's weight loss journey has not been an easy one.

"I could not wear clothes from the store," said McLeod. "I used to have to make my clothes out of upholstery fabric."

Since childhood, McLeod struggled with her weight. While she always kept a positive attitude, she was fighting an internal struggle of coping with food.

"Anything I felt, I would turn to food as my consoler, and that would put on more pounds," said McLeod.

By her mid 20's McLeod weighed in at nearly 600 pounds.

"The doctor said you have to weigh what is important. Do you want some sort of a semblance of life or are you going to fall completely destroyed to your weight issue?"

Val joined Weight Watchers, and through the web of support she built there, she was able to lose her first 100 pounds.

"I still wanted to lose more, so I was going to do the surgery," said McLeod. "We always want something quick, but for me the surgery didn't work."

So she went back to what she knew, walking and eating right.

Since then, she has lost 370 pounds and is currently featured in People magazine's issue, "Half Their Size."

"You can do it, each day at a time, each step at a time, you can do it," said McLeod. "I am living proof of it. I was ridiculed all of my life and now I am at a place where I am rejoicing because of my fitness, rather than be rejected."

McLeod suggested that by setting goals that are doable, believing in yourself and quitting the negative self talk, your weight loss goals can be achieved.

"Yes I am! Yes I can! I will be the best version of myself," McLeod encouraged. "What I was feeding myself here [mind] really helped to shift what I was feeding myself here [mouth].

It's that strength and passion that comes from the heart that is leading her to achieve her ultimate goal this year.

"This is a J. Benjamin suit I have had for too many years. I am ready to get in this," said McLeod with a smile.

For more on McLeod's story and her book. "Empowered: Build a Life of Success with Powerful Positive Language," click here.

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