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Get Inspired by These Incredible Weight Loss Transformations

People Logo People | Slide 2 of 55: As a child, food was one of the few constants in Perdue's life. “My mother wasn’t able to raise me fully,” Perdue, 34, tells PEOPLE in the 2018 Half Their Size issue. “I always associated food with happiness. I thought, ‘Food is not going to leave me.’ ” With a diet of six to eight chocolate bars a day, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, Perdue was 308 lbs. by age 29, and was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea and a mild form of polycycstic ovary syndrome. But it wasn't until a life-threatening car accident in 2012 that she decided to make a change. “I was on my sister’s couch, and I sat there and I cried to God,” she recalls. “I said, ‘I’m sick and tired of feeling like this.’ ” Perdue signed up for Optavia, a packaged meal plan, and learned how to eat balanced meals of a protein and three servings of vegetables. That along with 30-minute walks helped her lose 180 lbs. “Now I have so much energy,” she says. “I was able to ride a bike for the first time at 33.”

Melody Perdue: Lost 180 Lbs.

As a child, food was one of the few constants in Perdue's life. “My mother wasn’t able to raise me fully,” Perdue, 34, tells PEOPLE in the 2018 Half Their Size issue. “I always associated food with happiness. I thought, ‘Food is not going to leave me.’ ” With a diet of six to eight chocolate bars a day, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, Perdue was 308 lbs. by age 29, and was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea and a mild form of polycycstic ovary syndrome. But it wasn't until a life-threatening car accident in 2012 that she decided to make a change. “I was on my sister’s couch, and I sat there and I cried to God,” she recalls. “I said, ‘I’m sick and tired of feeling like this.’ ” Perdue signed up for Optavia, a packaged meal plan, and learned how to eat balanced meals of a protein and three servings of vegetables. That along with 30-minute walks helped her lose 180 lbs. “Now I have so much energy,” she says. “I was able to ride a bike for the first time at 33.”

© Courtesy; Perry Hagopian

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