By Bill Shields, WBZ-TVBy Bill Shields

NEW BEDFORD (CBS) – There was a time when Lauriann DeSousa weighed 300 pounds and could hardly walk a block without having to take a break.

But this Sunday, DeSousa will join hundreds of other runners for a half-marathon in New Bedford. Lauriann has lost 168 pounds.

“The best part was when my little guy could put his arms around me and hug me,” she said.
Four years ago, an attendant at Six Flags would not allow DeSousa to get on a ride with her kids, because the seat belt was not big enough.

Lauriann decided a change was in order.

“I started walking – a block each day – then a mile and another mile,” she said.
DeSousa also joined Weight-Watchers.

“It wasn’t about a simple diet plan; it was a change in lifestyle they taught me,” she explained.

As her weight declined, she was able to start running, which led to her losing more weight.

One day last year, while training for her first half-marathon, Lauriann ran into a hurdle, suffering a heart attack.

“It was yet another mountain to climb,” she said.

While the setback slowed her progress and prevented her from running in that particular race, she refused to lose sight of her goal.

On Sunday, DeSousa will try again.


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