There's no way Marci Levine could have worked out as hard as he she does these days. Not without crying.
Back in June, Levine began what was to be a life-changing journey losing weight for an MTV reality series called "I Used to be Fat."
"The one thing I really don't like about myself is my stomach," Levine said for MTV cameras on the show, "It's the ugliest part of myself."
Levine had been home-schooled for years. She considered herself lonely. Food became a constant companion and a comfort. She wanted to change those negatives before she began college.
At a Rockwall fitness center called Eclipse a few weeks ago, she told News 8, "I got to the point where I was so big and so unhappy with my life that I decided to do something about it."
Justin Bradshaw, a former Army deep sea diver turned aquatic boot camp instructor who was featured in a News 8 report in 2009, was selected to be her personal trainer/drill sergeant.
"Losing weight's not easy; if it was, everyone would do it," said Bradshaw, explaining his philosophy.
For the entire summer, the two worked agonizingly hard. Sometimes in 100-degree temperatures outside.
"She ate 1,200 calories a day, and we burned anywhere from 3,000-to-6,000 a day," Bradshaw said.
Daily workouts lasted four to eight hours.
Levine had watched other weight loss shows on television before, but never realized just how hard the work would be.
"It definitely hit me like a train," Levine said..
"A pain train," Bradshaw added with a laugh.
By summer's end, the agony had paid off. Levine stepped on the scale and read the number: 160.
She had lost 90 pounds in 90 days.
"People will say, 'Oh that's unhealthy to lose that,'" Bradshaw said. "The fact is, it's really not. What's unhealthy is the fact that she was 250 pounds and eating McDonald's and burritos all day in her bed. And doing no physical activity. That's what was unhealthy."
"I feel really good. I've never felt this way in my life," Levine said. "I've never been a small person, and I still have weight to lose, and I still want to lose 25 pounds. And I just feel... I feel really ecstatic about it."
Levine knows it takes constant work to maintain what is now her size 6 shape. She wants fellow dieters to know it is hard.
But if Marci Levine — a once-lonely girl who comforted herself with food — can do it, she wants others to know they can, too.