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The path to an over 100-pound weight loss for an Arizona woman began with a focus on her mental health.
"I tried every New Year’s to lose weight and I’d be successful for a month or two and by the time March came around I hadn’t actually dealt with why I was eating so much," Terray Kauffman Buel told "Good Morning America." "In 2018, instead of focusing on what I was eating and how I was exercising, I started focusing on my mental health."
"I started focusing on the relationships that weren’t very positive for my life and removed quite a few people from my life to be able to focus on myself and have people in my life who truly supported me and were looking out for the best for me," she said.
Buel, 30, kicked off this new year more than 100 pounds lighter, transformed both mentally and physically.
"You have to deal with why you’re overeating or it’s not going to be sustainable," she said. "You have to deal with the mental aspect before you’re able to deal with the diet pieces."
The Scottsdale resident said she spent nearly one year focusing just on her mental health and not paying close attention to her diet and physical activity.
Once she felt mentally strong, she started her lifestyle transformation by simply adding in physical activity.
"I know you can’t outrun a bad diet, but I really started by making physical activity a part of my daily routine," Buel said. "I worked out four to five days a week before work every single week, and once I’d made that a routine, then I began to focus on my food."
Having learned from past weight loss fails where she would quickly make major changes to her diet, Buel started out by not making any foods off limits.
"I started by just asking myself, ‘Is this the healthiest choice I can make?'" she said. "Once I spent about a month focusing on that, I started doing meal prep and tracking calories."
By making healthy food choices, tracking her calories and maintaining her commitment to daily physical activity, Buel has lost about 115 pounds over the last two years.
A typical day of eating for her now includes everything from fruit and oatmeal for breakfast to an easy-to-prep vegetable burrito bowl for lunch and a stir-fry for dinner. Still, nothing is off limits in her diet.
"I definitely went about it as a much slower approach and something that is more sustainable," she said. "Changing one thing at a time was really helpful for me."
Buel, whose husband has also lost about 60 pounds, said she hopes people find inspiration not just in her weight loss, but also in the life she led before her weight loss.
"What I see a lot in these before and after stories is people talking about how miserable their life was before. Even at my heaviest weight, I got married, went on my honeymoon, took beach vacations and went to new cities with friends," she said. "You’re just as worthy no matter how much you weigh or where you are in your journey."
"After losing 115 pounds, I’m still me. I still deserve all of the good things in life that I deserved at 300 pounds too," she added.
I focused on my mental health and lost over 100 pounds originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com