Lexlee Hudson grew up as an athlete who played basketball in high school and burned off any extra calories she consumed on the court. Sadly that all changed when she tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus during her junior, prematurely ending her career in high school basketball.

“From that point forward, my weight started fluctuating,” Hudson, 24, told People Magazine. “And when I went to college I was stressed, working multiple jobs, and I didn’t know what I should be eating.”

As Hudson, who is from San Antonio, Texas, reached college age, she started eating mostly fast food and pizza since that was what she could afford on her tips she got from her waitressing job. Within just one year, she had gained a whopping 180 pounds.

“I started having a lot of health issues,” she said. “My back was hurting all the time. I had PCOS and I was on the spectrum for pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. I love to ride horses — I have my entire life — and I couldn’t anymore. I became super insecure and withdrawn, and I stopped going out with my friends.”

“I felt like a grandma, and I was only 22 at the time,” Hudson added. “I was like, ‘Something’s got to change here.’”

Speaking of grandmas, Hudson’s own grandmother knew a thing or two about weight loss, as she had lost 75 lbs. using Optavia. Her mother had lost 80 pounds with this same program, and though both women tried to get Hudson to try it, she resisted for years because she was a “rebellious child.” After a series of “yo-yo diets,” however, she decided she was ready.

“I was tired, I was exhausted, and I just decided it was time to put me first,” she said.

Hudson first began using Optavia in January of 2018, with her mother and grandmother acting as her coaches. Though she admits that she was a bit “cranky” in the early days of the diet, she saw immediate results from there.

“I learned to be more mindful about what I was putting in my body, which led me to be more mindful of every other aspect of my life,” she said.

“You start seeing the pound go off, and then you realize that you don’t feel as swollen and you’re sleeping better,” Hudson added. “And I just reminded myself, ‘You get to do this for you. You get to be healthy today. It’s not something that you have to do. It’s something that you get to do, and you’re doing it for you.’ I just kind of talked myself into it every single day.”

In just her first months, Hudson lost an impressive 30 pounds, and the weight just came off from there. Since then, she’s lost a staggering 187 pounds, and while she’s still working on her weight, she doesn’t have a specific number in mind that she’s aiming for.

“I just want to be the best version of myself,” she explained, adding that she feels “so free.”

“I tell people that before I felt like I had a mental cloud over my head. I didn’t always put me first,” Hudson said. “My whole life has changed.”

Hudson’s weight loss journey has changed her entire life, as she’s since become a heath coach as a career.

“I get to help people get healthy,” she said. “I love helping people find that confidence and seeing their smile again.”

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