Credit: Now

NowBiking everywhere kick-started Sydney Pershings amazing 162-pound weight loss.

As a child, I was always at least 20 pounds overweight. And when I was 13, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Having seizures drained me, so I rarely felt like exercising. The cocktail of medica­tions only added to my size, and by the time I was 25, I was 287 pounds and depressed. That year, I asked a surgeon about weight loss-surgery. He told me I wasnt a candidate because I was morbidly obese and too unhealthy for surgery—I would have to shed some weight first.



I couldnt believe I was too fat for the surgery! But that irony changed my life. The next day I got on my bike and rode around the block. The day after that, I biked six blocks. After three months of biking that distance every day, I dropped two dress sizes and started taking longer rides. I also started the South Beach Diet, trading pizza for salads and lean protein.

By 2004, Id lost 122 pounds. My next step: I had a VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) device implanted in my chest to limit my seizures. It worked, and for the first time my epilepsy was under control. I also had more energy, so I added Pilates and swimming to my routine and lost another 40 pounds. Today, I am 162 pounds lighter!








Total lost:



From Heavy to Healthy time line:

  • 287 lbs-September 2002-Got on a bike for the first time in years.
  • 245 lbs-December 2002-Biking works: Dropped two dress sizes.
  • 195 lbs-May 2004-Walked a 5K to raise money for multiple sclerosis.
  • 165 lbs-November 2004-Surgery helps control my seizures—and ups my energy.
  • 125 lbs-May 2005–now-Looking good in size 6 jeans!

Nice work, Sydney! Sydney is now a public relations representative for the VNS device and speaks at conferences and seminars. To help her look amazing in front of a crowd, White House Black Market is giving her a $500 gift card. Congratulations!