Victoria "Tori" Lynn Fuchs

AGE 30

TOWN Massapequa

OCCUPATION Corporate trainer in bodily injury litigation

HEIGHT 5-foot-9

HER STORY I grew up slender, but was muscled and active. I lived on a farm and did farm stuff and played sports. Two weeks before I graduated high school, I was in a major accident and had to go though physical therapy and shoulder surgeries. During that two years . . . I gained 110 to 120 pounds. To be that overweight at 20 was so hard. I also started stress-eating. I spent my 20s morbidly obese.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

When I was 26, I had high blood pressure and was borderline diabetic. I was at my doctor's, and he told me I'd be dead by 45 if I didn't do something. He said I needed someone to teach me how to deal with food. I joined Weight Watchers a week later.

Since joining Weight Watchers, I've lost more than 200 pounds and was invited on the Oprah show for her weight-loss finale of 100 people who have lost 100 pounds or more. I think altogether we'd lost 13,000.

DIET I do eat some Weight Watchers food, but there isn't anything I can't eat. I eat healthy proteins -- chicken, fish; low-fat milk and cheese. I also use the Weight Watchers cookbooks. Now, I'll eat an ounce or two of cheese, not a whole block of cheese. The points program gently nudges me toward making better choices.

EXERCISE I'm a member of Lucille Roberts. At 376 pounds, I really couldn't work out. After about 100 pounds, I could work out. Now, I work out at least four days a week for 45 minutes to an hour. I do cardio because I like the reward of watching how many calories I've burned. You have to do cardio and strength training.

ADVICE Before, if I did one thing bad on a diet, I'd just tell myself I'm bad, that I was doomed to fail. You can't be all or nothing. You can't go from eating sweets, drinking soda and eating anything you want all the time to the next day eating nothing bad. It doesn't work that way. You'll fail. You have to learn balance. You also have to learn to cut yourself some slack. You can be successful.

I am currently a size 8-10. I was a size 20 in 2001. I truly believe that the weight-loss journey is only 5 percent the food and 95 percent the way that you deal with your interactions with food. I have learned to manage my feelings, behavior and my environment.