KELLIE Scarponi admits she's less than half the woman she used to be - and she has a whole new world to explore.
Since 2010, the Hervey Bay mother-of-three and theatre nurse at the city's hospital has lost 75kg, going from dress size 26 to size 10.
Mrs Scarponi said an eating disorder stemming from a dysfunctional home life had been a problem from a young age.
By adulthood, the scales were tipping 140kg.
"I started having pain in my feet and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
"I could not walk up a flight of stairs without stopping and being breathless - then in 2009 I began having chest pain."
The real wake-up call began with a visit to the hospital emergency department and a doctor's no-nonsense approach.
"He said I was fat and if I didn't lose weight, I would die.
"I was angry at first but it was the best thing ever told to me."
After trying the usual weight loss programs and fad diets, Kellie decided to do her own research and also take out private health cover.
Opting for laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery combined with diet and exercise, the kilos started falling off.
"The surgery was not a cure or an easy way out but it helped me to make better decisions about living well," Mrs Scarponi said.
"It took a long time not to see myself as fat and it's still a challenge at times."
The list of Kellie's accomplishments since her reinvention is impressive.
Mountain climbing, horseback riding, snorkelling and stand-up paddling have already been ticked off her bucket list.
Next month, the 43-year-old is off to zipline in Costa Rica.
"I never lived before - I existed."
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