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Dear Tom,

I am a 52 year-old black woman whom God has blessed to walk and stand again after severe diabetes made me disabled.   Recently, I lost more than 100 pounds, dropping from 400 to 265.   I did it naturally without surgery or medications.  I plan on losing more weight until I reach my goal of 160.

You see, I had a habit of putting others before myself.   When my niece was unable to care for her five boys, I stepped in and raised them for five years until she was ready to resume motherhood.  During the time the children were with me, my husband walked out and the stress caused weight gain and illness.

Tom, I have now taken control of my life and my weight is only the first step.  A short time ago, I went back to school and earned an associate degree in medical billing.  I am looking forward to working again and this week I went on my first interview in years.  My Christmas wish is to go on a shopping spree for a new slimmer wardrobe, so I can look professional when I walk through the door to greet employers during job interviews.