Rebin Roy says she “could easily down a pitcher of margaritas and 20 buffalo wings at happy hour,” and eventually found herself weighing 248 lbs. at 5’4″.
Her junk food consumption wasn’t her only unhealthy habit — Roy also smoked a pack-and-a-half to two packs of cigarettes every day for 14 years.
“In 2003 I got pregnant and I quit cold turkey, but after having my daughter, I never lost all the weight I’d gained,” the homemaker and part-time actress, 42, tells PEOPLE.
After giving birth to her third child, Roy began experiencing health issues that landed her in and out of the hospital for years. At one doctor’s appointment in 2007, she felt insulted by her physician for being heavy. It motivated her to join Weight Watchers and lose the pounds she had gained due to poor eating habits and three pregnancies.
These days, down 126 lbs., she says she “eats the same kinds of things” but in smaller portions.
“I do six small meals a day, so I have breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and an evening snack,” says Roy. “When I go out for fast food, I will probably have half a hamburger and then have the other half later, where [before] I’d eat a hamburger, fries, the shake, whatever else was available. But the portions made me heavy, so it’s not worth it!”
“That makes my life so much easier,” says Roy. “I’ll put some chicken in in the morning and it’s done for dinner.”
After losing her first 80 lbs., Roy underwent a tummy tuck and had breast surgery. She then decided she wanted to take up bodybuilding, and now partakes in competitions. Her favorite part is the “glamour” category, when she “gets to wear a sparkly bikini and angel wings,” saying the experience gives her a confidence boost. “I feel like I could be a Victoria’s Secret model!”
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The Geneva, Illinois-based mom of three — who now weighs 122 lbs. — says she never hesitates to showcase her physique in a two-piece swimsuit.
“I hear a lot of women that I know who are beautiful and have amazing bodies say, ‘I’m too old to be in a bikini,’ or, ‘I’m not fit enough to be in a bikini.’ And I don’t understand where those rules come from,” she says. “There’s nobody saying you have to be 20 to wear a bikini. There’s nobody saying you have to be a [size] zero to wear a bikini.”