SAN ANTONIO - Lena Hernandez is winning a weight loss war. She's lost nearly 166 pounds in a year and has 50 more pounds left to reach her goal.
"I was miserable,” Hernandez said. “I was just existing."
Hernandez started packing on the pounds at 8-years-old. She said it was a result of harboring a dark secret, she had been molested for a period of three years by two teen relatives.
"No one is ever going to touch me like that. You feel dirty like you’re spoiled. It's hard,” Hernandez said. “You’re 5-years-old and this is happening to you."
As the years went by the pounds kept piling on as Hernandez kept eating.
Hernandez, now cancer free, weighed nearly 400 pounds and was diabetic.
"I was uncomfortable. My car, I was not able to use the seatbelt. I always wore clothes that were stretchy. At restaurants, I had to ask for a table never a booth. It was humiliating," Hernandez said.
She was on the fast track to an early death until March 15, 2016, when she came down with an excruciating headache in the middle night. It was so painful she thought she would die.
"It felt like I got hit in the head with a sledge hammer,” Hernandez said. “It was so debilitating I couldn't function."
It was the wakeup call she needed.
Hernandez changed her diet, cutting carbs and sugar and started working out by walking daily. Within three weeks she lost 22 pounds.
"That was mad motivation,” she said. “I had never lost 20 pounds.”
Now a year later, she's down 160 pounds.
"I love it. I love all the compliments."
Hernandez's journey is far from over. She has 50 more pounds to lose and started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost to remove loose skin.
In the meantime, she's finally found peace.
"I'm very happy,” Hernandez said. “I love where my life is at."