By Shannon Lane @SHANNONLANE
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Videographer / Director: Danielle Patera
Producer: Shannon Lane
Editor: Alex Lubetkin
Danielle from Milwaukee, Wisconsin struggled with her weight since a young age.
She told Truly: “So in grade school and growing up, I was bullied a few times.
“I was told I should be drinking Slimfast, I shouldn't be running around - even though running around is probably what I should have been doing.
“I was told in gymnastics that I was too big to be wearing a leotard.
“There were a lot of occasions where I kind of was made fun of for my weight and it definitely hits home.
“I've been overweight ever since I was a kid. But I don't think it got bad until my last two years of high school."
Due to the bullying, Danielle became very introverted - and found comfort in food.
She said: “My eating and drinking habits were very poor. I consumed probably upwards of 3,000 calories a day.”
Her sister, Kelsey, said: “Bullies treated Danielle kind of rough.”
At her heaviest, Danielle weighed 340lbs and struggled to find clothes that fit her larger frame - which affected shopping trips with her sister.
Her sister said: “We would go shopping and she would never find anything. She didn't really have as many options as I did.
"I guess I just didn't realise how difficult it was for her, or how hard it was for her to find things that flattered her."
The first time Danielle tried to lose weight was in 2015, in preparation for her sister’s wedding.
Danielle said: "I then weighed around 320lbs, I lost a good 40 for the wedding.
“But once the wedding happened, my motivation slipped.”
It wasn’t until a hiking trip with her mum and sister Kelsey that Danielle decided to change her life around.
She said: “The turning point for me to lose weight was when I was on a trip in Kentucky with my mum and my sister, and we went hiking up this rock formation.
"There was one point where I had to lift myself up with my bodyweight and it took me so long to do it.
“I even had to stop and take a break and let people pass me. And it was really embarrassing.
“I saw my sister do it with ease. I saw my 50-something year-old mum do it with ease.”
Danielle began a strict diet and exercise regime and over a year lost an amazing 150lbs.
She said: ”I was very, very strict with myself.
“I didn't really allow myself cheat meals for the first like nine months or so.”
Five years after her sister’s wedding, Danielle tried on the very same bridesmaid’s dress she wore on that day.
The large dress swamped her now smaller frame.
Her sister said: “I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Danielle in her bridesmaids dress again.
“I really did not realise how big she was at the time and how much weight she's lost.”
Due to the amount of weight Danielle lost in a short time, she was left with a large amount of excess skin
She said: “A lot of my excess skin is in my stomach. I have a lot on my thighs.”
Her sister Kelsey has seen a huge change in Danielle since her incredible transformation.
She said: “I have definitely seen a change in Danielle since she's lost the weight.
“She's outgoing, she's free spirited, she really is a completely different person.”
Danielle wants to spread her message of perseverance and positivity to anyone else trying to lose weight.
She said: “Get moving, you don’t want to prolong it.
“Each day that goes by that’s more time you’re preventing yourself from living your fullest life.”