MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Karen Hansen's life was at rock bottom until a wake up call put her on a weight loss journey she never imagined.
"I was going through a lot of depression. I had been through a divorce, then there's just some other things that caused depression. Physically I was medicated with diabetes and high blood pressure medicine, just overweight and felt really bad," Hansen said.
At her heaviest, Karen weighed 307 pounds. She said her depression brought her to a low point in her life that she knew she had to get control of.
"My life was going in no direction and I had to make a change. Physically and emotionally it was hard because I was over 300 pounds, when I walked into the gym I was thinking, 'What are other people thinking, she may only last a month,' but I told myself, I remember, that I believed that I could do this. It sparked me," Hansen said.
Karen said she started working out slow, and surely enough she began to see results within the first month of working out, watching her diet and cutting out sweets.
"I went in every day and focused and very determined with my workouts, my eating got better and I started seeing results. From, there it just took off," Hansen said.
In three years' time, Karen lost 140 pounds and works out at least five days a week. She said she has changed mentally as well as physically.
"Just never allow yourself to believe that you can't do this, anything is possible. I want to help inspire and encourage as many people as I can. That is my why, that is the reason, my purpose, the reason I am here, to help others, to let them know that they can do this just with diet and exercise," Hansen said.
She did have some help. Karen hired her trainer Johnny Guillot, but she said the hardest part was getting her mind to focus and stay strong on her diet and workouts.
"The biggest thing is to believe in yourself that you can do this and start out simple," Hansen said.