printable article

Originally published July 7 2015

Woman too fat to fit in airplane seat decides to get fit, loses 100+ pounds with exercise

by Melanie Grimes

(NaturalNews) Lose weight with exercise. Yes, it works, that is for most people who do not have a metabolic disorder. Sharon Smith lost over 100 pounds, going from a 280 pounds to around 126 pounds by changing her lifestyle. She began by watching her diet, and then added exercise and walking daily during her lunch breaks.

Sharon's weight loss journey begins
Sharon Smith from West Midlands, England, started her journey to weight loss in December 2012. She was 42 years old and weighed almost 300 pounds. Her job as a children's clothing designer had her commuting and sitting at a desk, allowing for little exercise. Starting during her commutes to work in 2012, her size began to bother her, as she had trouble fitting into train seats. In December of that year, she had to travel to Hong Kong, and was concerned for her comfort and that of her fellow passenger. "I remember being rammed in my seat with a lady next to me. I felt uncomfortable not just for me but for her too." This was the tipping point for Sharon. Because she barely fit into the airline seat, she stood up for most of an 11-hour plane ride. "I was genuinely worried I might hurt the woman in the next seat because of my weight. She didn't say anything but I just didn't think it fair for her to suffer because of my size." The stewardess offered to let her use their take-off and landing seats, but Sharon found it easier to stand.

Weight loss life style change
After standing for most of that trip, Sharon began life style changes. She started walking instead of taking the subway whenever possible. Quitting her high-powered job, she began working from home. This cut out her time sitting and commuting, and allowed her to take walks around her neighborhood during her lunch breaks. She joined Weight Watchers Online and reduced her weight to about 13-14 stones (about 190 lbs.). She then hit a roadblock in her weight loss. She could not lose more weight, so she upped the ante by joining an organization for beginning runners called "Couch to 5K." She trained for a 5K race and ran it in 40 minutes in July of 2014. Sharon found additional support online. She joined a blog called The Running Blog. "The site, especially the members' forum, gave me so many tips and so much encouragement." She changed her diet, removing all processed foods, eating more fruits and veggies, and adding healthy fats like nuts. She stopped eating chocolates and potato chips. Last year, she ran two 10K races. Sharon has found that running made a big difference to her weight loss and fitness goals. "Once I started training for my first 10k race last summer, the pounds really dropped off," she said. Now, Sharon makes most of her food from scratch and weighs about 9 stones, or about 126 pounds.

Metabolic syndrome and weight loss
Some people have more difficulty losing weight than others, and this can be caused by metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. It is estimated that over 47 million Americans have this condition, which is also associated with insulin resistance and can lead to type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is defined as having a waist of more than 35 inches for women and 40 for men, high blood pressure, fasting blood sugar over 150, HDL cholesterol below 50, and triglycerides over 150. The cause of metabolic syndrome is not definitively known, but a variety of stressors can contribute, such as obesity, stress, aging and a sedentary lifestyle. Treatments for metabolic syndrome include dietary change and exercise, along with nutritional therapy, such as adding vitamins to the diet.

About the author:
Melanie Grimes, CCH, is a writer, health educator and homeopath. She has taught at Bastyr University and lectured internationally. Follow her blog at

Sources include:

All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit