Skip to content

Woman Lost 400 Pounds by Cutting Soda, Rice, and Riding a Tricycle

LydiaMay Wylesky tipped the scales at over 600 pounds. Here is how she lost weight. 

Weight loss often seems overly complicated. However, many people who have successfully dropped hundreds of pounds maintain that it really isn't. You don't have to go on a crazy crash diet, exercise around the clock, or spend thousands of dollars on a nutritionist: Making a few simple lifestyle changes can do the trick. LydiaMay Wylesky recently dropped around 400 pounds, revealing a few simple lifestyle changes she made to get into the best shape of her life. 

LydiaMay Wylesky Struggled with Her Weight Her Whole Life

LydiaMay Wylesky/

LydiaMay Wylesky, 39, had been overweight her entire life, starting in kindergarten, when she weighed 102 pounds. By middle school, she weighed 218 pounds. In high school, she weighed 308 pounds.

She Had "Bad Habits" and Food Became Her Happiness


"I just had bad habits in life, stress eating," she says. "Food became my happiness." Her weight continued to climb through her pregnancies. She weighed around 400 during her first and second and fluctuated in the 500s during her final two. "It was depressing," the Charleston, South Carolina, resident tells Today. "I did what many people do. I just tried to find things that would make me feel better … (which was) food."

A Doctor Told Her She Would Be "Dead in Five Years"

Closeup of doctor's hands while explaining to patient

"'What are you going to do? Because if you keep going the way you are, you're going to be dead in five years and your kids are not going to have a mom,'" she recalls a doctor telling her. "It just motivated me even more."

Her Weight Peaked at 618


Eventually, she became so heavy that household scales couldn't weigh her. When she finally stepped on an industrial scale while working at a scrap yard, she discovered she was 618 pounds.

She Decided to Lose Weight and Get Gastric Bypass Surgery


She made the decision to lose weight and get gastric bypass surgery, as she knew she could be a better mother. Since then, she's lost more than 400 pounds. "I decided I can't do this," she says. "I can't keep going on this rollercoaster ride." 

She Stopped Drinking Energy Drinks


Wylesky started by cutting out energy drinks, which she says helped her lose 100 pounds. She weaned off them, taking one sip and throwing out the can. Soon, she stopped drinking them altogether.  

She Cut Out Soda and Rice


She also started giving up sugar and some carbs. Soon after welcoming baby number four, she cut soda and rice out of her diet. 

She Started Riding a Tricycle


She also started riding a tricycle because it supported her weight better than a bike. Just riding it to her mailbox in the mobile home park where she lived "was tiring," initially, she says. "You'd have to go down about 20 mobile home houses and come back 20 mobile home houses, and there's a little bit of an incline." She started riding greater distances. "After I got comfortable doing that multiple times a day for a couple of weeks, then I'd ride down to the ice cream shop with the kids," she says. "They were exhausted from riding their bikes even though they just had a really good breakfast," she recalls. "That was the first time ever I felt I was able to wear them out on their bicycles. It was like, 'Wow, I'm actually making progress.'" 

She Eliminated Carbs


Prior to weight loss surgery, she had a hard time abiding by the diet, which involved eliminating carbs."You're supposed to stay away from bread, rice, potatoes and processed sugars, and you write down on food logs what you eat," she says. "I've always just done what I know how to do. I would eat what I wanted." However, eventually she started following the plan. "I was so stubborn and set in my ways," Wylesky says.

She Walked and Hiked


She also started walking and hiking. "The big hikes, there was no way I was ever going to do that at the weight I was," Wylesky says. "Now, I don't have to find the shortest smallest trail."

She Is Now Able to Keep Up with Her Kids

LydiaMay Wylesky/

"You're not capable of living a very happy life when you're 600-plus pounds and forcing yourself to stand in front of the stove for 20 minutes and then sitting down on a chair to finish cooking dinner for your kids because you're exhausted just from standing," she says.

She Is Happy With Her New Life

LydiaMay Wylesky/

"Life is definitely worth living," she says. "I'm so glad that I was able to stick to something this time." 

RELATED: Mom Lost 66 Pounds With These Simple Changes

She Says: "Don't Give Up on Yourself"

LydiaMay Wylesky/

Her advice to others: "Don't give up on yourself," she says. "I really just didn't care about myself," she says. "Once I decided I had worth and my kids needed me — and I needed to be better for them — that was when I was able to start making the necessary changes and tipping the scale in a positive direction."

Filed Under