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Valley woman recognized for body transformation

PHOENIX —  A Phoenix-area woman’s inspirational weight loss story is getting national attention.

For Melissa Sledge, giving up fast food and exercising religiously was not easy, but in her words, “it was worth it.”

Her transformation story is featured in the latest issue of Shape Magazine, which has over 12 million readers. Sledge dropped about 40 pounds in one year.

“The first ten came off in the first 90 days just by omitting two foods, pizza and French fries,” she said.

Hard work and time at the gym helped eliminate the other 30 pounds. The former collegiate athlete said she started gaining weight after taking a desk job for the first time in her life.

“I was going through my closet and I was wearing a 12 or 14 and I did not want to go up to a 16 so I decided then that I was going to make an active effort to lose the weight,” she said.

Sledge is not embarrassed to talk about her prior weight issues and hopes her story inspires others.

“(I want to) let them know that it is possible and that just a normal person can do this by making small changes,” she said.

She now plans to try her hand at fitness modeling and competitions.

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