Woman known as 'Half Ton Killer' shares weight loss journey

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- She is the Texas woman once dubbed the "Half Ton Killer," accused of killing her nephew by rolling on him with her 1,000-pound frame. But after clearing her name, she has a new lease on life, a unbelievably smaller body, and is motivating others with her weight loss story.

It's a time in her life Mayra Rosales would like to forget.

"I was alive but not living a life," Rosales said.

But in 2008, she was a prisoner in her own bed. Weighing more than 1,000 pounds, she was charged with capital murder in the death of her two-year old-nephew. She was accused of smothering the child by rolling on top of him with her heavy frame, but the charge later was dropped when prosecutors determined she took the blame in order to protect her sister.

"I was dying. I don't know if you had seen pictures before you could see it in my face. I had given up in life," Rosales said. "I was alive but not living a life."

Today, things are very different for Rosales. She has lost 800 pounds through surgery and diet and still has 30 more to go. With a new body, she also has a new mindset when it comes to life and food.

"Food to me is I have to eat to live. Before it was living to eat, and now you know, it's just something normal," Rosales said.

Rosales says she wouldn't have regained her health without Houston vascular and bariatric surgeon and star of TLC's "My 600-Pound Life" Dr. Younan Nowzaraden.

"I think Mayra is very motivated," Nowzaraden said. "Once you're in bed for several years, she had no life. Once she get up and walk and do things, you'll be amazed how motivated people become."

Nowzaraden has performed 11 surgeries on Rosales, including a lap band procedure and numerous skin removal surgeries. He also diagnosed her with Lymphedema, swelling usually in the arms or legs due lymph buildup.

"It was a little bit depressing when he told me that but then I was like at least I know what I have now," Rosales said of the diagnosis.

Rosales' weight loss story was the motivation Olivia Cruz needed to reclaim her life.

"And I saw her story and I said if this doctor can help this woman at this weight, he can save my life," Cruz said.

At her heaviest, Cruz weighed 570 pounds and has lost more than 300 pounds.

"I feel like I am reborn, I feel alive. I really do," she said.

Rosales says her journey back to health has not been easy, but the benefits are well worth it. Now, she hopes her story can motivate others struggling with weight issues.

"Do not lose hope and keep fighting because we only have one life, and it's well worth fighting for it," Rosales said.

"My 600-Pound Life" airs 8pm Wednesdays on TLC.
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