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Dropping lbs.: Nermeen Devlin, Massapequa

Nermeen Devlin, 28, of Massapequa, ballooned to 280

Nermeen Devlin, 28, of Massapequa, ballooned to 280 pounds in 2010 before deciding to get a handle on her health. She turned to diet and exercise to lose almost 150 pounds in less than 24 months. Credit: Handout; David Trotman-Wilkins

Nermeen Devlin

28, Massapequa

Occupation: Treatment coordinator for an orthodontist

Height: 5-foot-7

Weight before (June 2010): 280 lbs.

Weight after (March 2014): 132 lbs.

HER STORY Extremely overweight, Nermeen Devlin didn't have much energy, was achy and tired all the time and says she couldn't make it up a flight of stairs without taking a break.

"I was sick and tired of feeling unhealthy and uncomfortable," Devlin remembers. "One day, I was trying to put on a pair of size 17 jeans and couldn't get them on. I was 24 years old and knew I was too young to feel this way, to be this way."

A professed chocoholic who was "addicted to sweets," Devlin says she could also make a meal out of chips and dip.

"I don't really know what happened," says Devlin of her spiraling weight gain. "I was normal weight growing up. I was in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship, and I guess that's how I dealt with it."

It took her two years of eating healthier and exercising to lose weight, which she did on her own. She decided it was better to do it while she was still young and her body wouldn't work so hard against her.

After years of "feeling uncomfortable in my own skin," she now has loads of energy.

Along the way to better health, she cut out fats, drank more water and went to the gym at least four times a week for an hour or more.

"I'm always running around, always on my feet," a healthier Devlin says. "I hike, run, do sports."

DIET "Before, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted," Devlin remembers. "I would eat a pound of pasta with sauce and bread by myself. Two hours later, I'd eat dessert. Two hours after that, I'd eat more dessert."

A typical breakfast for the leaner, meaner Devlin is egg whites with lean turkey, followed by a banana as a midmorning snack. Lunch is a large salad, then fruit and nuts in the afternoon. She has a light dinner of grilled chicken, salad and vegetables.

EXERCISE After years of being sedentary, she works out daily for 60 to 90 minutes at the gym doing light cardio, weightlifting and a 30-minute, high-intensity workout. She goes back to the gym for an hour in the evening.

ADVICE "Your body is your vessel, and you only have one in your life," says Devlin of what she learned on her weight-loss journey. "Instead of destroying it, take care of it, especially when you're young."


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