Sonya Thomas took action to lose weight and create a healthy lifestyle without a gym or a trainer. She is down more than 80 pounds over the last two years.
"It was too expensive," said Thomas of going to the gym when she started her journey toward better health and fitness. "Not only that, it was some of the things they do in the gym that I simply could not do at that time with the lung condition."
More than two years ago, Thomas was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. It's a lung condition in which her lung tissues were inflamed, making it hard for her to breathe at times. At 272 pounds, her weight only made it worse.
"Oh my God," said Thomas. "That was my heaviest."
"I was feeling weighed down. I was feeling dysfunctional," she said. "I felt like i had lost all hope at that time."
In January 2012, Thomas' granddaughter said something that made the 51-year-old decide to take action.
"She said your problem is you need to lose some weight, and that just hit home," said Thomas. "I just made a decision to get up and just start doing something."
Thomas decided to start her journey by putting one foot in front of the other.
"The Lord put it in my spirit to get up and walk," she said. "That first day I got up and I walked five minutes. I went back home and I told my husband I could not do it."
"But then determination kicked in, and the next day I got up again, I got back out there, and I walked about 10 minutes," said Thomas. "From that day forward I kept going out everyday and before I knew it, I was up to about 8 miles!"
Thomas said there are some days she gets up to 20 miles.
"It has changed my life tremendously," she said. "I am full of energy!"
She gradually changed how she ate, keeping her calorie intake around 1800 a day.
"The first thing I do is I make a smoothie, and I call them green smoothies," said Thomas. "I put spinach in it, kale, cucumbers, green apples and green grapes, and whey protein. That is my breakfast most of the time."
Thomas said for lunch she usually has a salad with lots of veggies and an olive oil and vinegar mix for dressing. Her dinner's usually include baked chicken, veggies and brown rice.
"There is no finish line," said Thomas. "This is a lifestyle. It`s not something that you just lose the weight and you stop."
She said her results came from walking and being persistent.
"Use what you have. Use your feet! Get out there and do something. You may not have the money. You may not have the finances, but if you can do something. You can walk. You can do squats. You can do jumping jacks. You can do high knee raises. There`s so many things you can do in the comfort of your home without being in the gym," Thomas said.