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Native Iowan Loses 270 Pounds, Inspiring Others

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DES MOINES, Iowa --An Iowa native who lost more than half her body weight is sharing how she transformed her body.

Rhonda Martin, 43, completed three half marathons, four sprint triathlons, and an Aquabike competition this past year. Not that long ago, a simple stroll was a serious struggle for the Breda native. "Two and a half years ago, I weighed 457 pounds. I could barely walk 150 steps at that time."

"I knew if I didn't make changes soon, my life was going to be cut short," Martin added.

She started off by making small changes, "I had heard about a friend of mine who was starting to do some protein shakes. She was going to try and lose weight, I thought if she could, so could I."

Then, she began moving more. She bought a pedometer and challenged herself to take 100 extra steps each day. Next, she started counting calories. "Then when I got comfortable with one change, I would make another."

Next, she bought a Pedego electric bike to use to commute to work. She says that helped her get moving because the electric motor would take over when she needed a break. “That way I was able to get out, get moving and get some social interaction. It was just a great start to the whole process," she told Channel 13.

Martin is now down 270 pounds. She's not quite to her goal, but she's focusing on fitness instead of the number on the scale.

"Next year, I'd like to go up from sprint distances to Olympic distances on the triathlons, and then in two years, at least a half Ironman, if not a full Ironman."

She shares her story on her community Facebook page "Living Instead of Existing" More than 14,000 people follow her journey and words of wisdom there. "I want people to know it's possible. You can make the change. My life was so limited then. And, now I have a world of opportunities ahead of me."

Martin currently lives in California, but she visited Iowa this weekend to share her story in her hometown of Breda.

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