Ebony Freeman

27, Greenport

Occupation Certified nursing assistant, San Simeon by The Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation

Height 5-foot-9

Before 315 Dec. 2008

After 187 Oct. 2016

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HER STORY

Freeman says she trended on the heavy side steadily for most of her life, but the loss of her brother in a car accident in February 2010 had both negative and positive effects on her.

While she gained weight during the period after the accident, she also became painfully aware of how short life can be. She was only 21 but already prediabetic and on high blood pressure medication. She wanted off the meds and began a life-changing course.

The first thing she did was give up soda. She lost six pounds in seven days. “I cleaned up my diet, watched portion sizes and became more aware of what I was eating,” Freeman says. “You know what you have to do. It’s about actually doing it and sticking with it.”

She started walking every day to a local beach and back, a 2.5-mile route. She built on that by walking farther and expanding into jogging by alternating walking and running between telephone poles. “Once you start, you get more confident,” Freeman says.

She lost 100 pounds in one year.

Practices that work for her include weighing herself only once a week and using MyFitnessPal, a smartphone app that tracks her calories and activity. She became a certified health coach and created a website beautifullytoldlifestyle.com that has recipes and workout tips. “I did this to share my story and help others reach their weight-loss goals,” Freeman says.

HER DIET

Breakfast is either spinach and egg whites or oatmeal with a banana, cinnamon and almond milk and a cup of green tea. Lunch and dinner can be grilled chicken salad, baked chicken or fish or a shrimp stir fry plus vegetables and brown rice. She snacks on yogurt, fruit or mixed nuts.

HER EXERCISE

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Freeman does 45 minutes of cardio four to five times a week through jogging and recently started weight training. She likes to remind people that not everyone needs a gym membership. “I have weights at home that I use three times a week.” Freeman attends a kickboxing class two times a week.

HER ADVICE

“Don’t be afraid of change. Have an open mind about new things. What I learned is that it’s truly a mental battle. You need the mindset before anything will happen. . . . If you change your mind, you can change your life.”