HOUSTON, Texas -- A Houston woman says the secret to her success in losing over 200 pounds was walking.
Shenisha Armealine, 27, said she began walking in 2017 at her heaviest weight of 442 pounds.
She says the bullying got worse when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and Asperger's syndrome in high school.
At the time, Armealine said she was not only at her heaviest weight, but she had also just survived Hurricane Harvey, which swept through Houston in August 2017, leaving a trail of devastation in its path.
"I lost everything I owned," Armealine said. "My mental health was not really well, and I just started walking."
Armealine said she started small by committing to walking 15 minutes every day.
Slowly, Armealine said her daily commitment developed into a habit and then into a lifestyle.
She added jogging into her exercise routine and started to eat better too.
"Fifteen-minute increments. Right? That is a wonderful place to start. If that's still too much for you, five minutes is a good place to start. Anything except zero," Dr. Rachel-Maria Brown Talaska said. "Start at what is manageable for you."
In addition to therapy, she credits those incremental changes for helping her learn new coping skills. Armealine said she lost 218 pounds over five years.
"My life has a new perspective," she said. "This is not just weight loss or weight gain. This is motivation."
Armealine, a sophomore at Grace Christian University Online studying psychology, shares her weight loss journey on Instagram and TikTok, where she inspires others.
"Once you realize who you are and you can love yourself, once you can believe in yourself and love who God created you to be. The sky's, like, literally the limit," she said. "There is nothing you can't do."
She told our partners at the Houston Chronicle that there are people who don't see the light, and she wants to help them see it.