I will spare you a long lengthy diatribe. This has been done before--by me--and is accessible on the web via my various links available on my profile but I will tell you this:
Five years ago: I felt as though my life was over (but was optimistic) Today: I feel as though my life has just begun.
I am 54 years old. I have never gained more than 10 lbs in five years--and that was all either water weight or hormone induced. I still can't eat more than 12 oz in one sitting but do eat every 2-3 hours. A humongous red pear wiIl still fill me up so much that I can't finish it but I'm satisfied as all get out.
I eat fresh wholesome foods, whole grains, sugar-free and have become a gourmet, a cooking whiz and have even started canning (recently put up my own SF meat tomato sauce, SF cranberry sauce, SF cranberry jam, SF apple butter, etc) ... I make my own yogurt, my own SF granola, etc etc and love every second of it. Eat out rarely because I can either imitate or improve upon the sugar-salt-and-preservative-laden-fare.
I have not waivered over 135 lbs since the great Mirena disaster of 2006 (that put 10 hormone-filled pounds on my body that took months to eliminate and caused a 1"x3" benign tumor in my breast) and because my body still changes/firms from proper eating and physical activity (no plastic surgery), I appear thinner than ever. I'm just under 130 lbs now: Maintaining a 190 lb weight loss to date.
Life is not without its challenges. I am not perfect. Everything from job loss to loss of friends and family (I still miss Rockin' Robin more than I can say... I think of her EVERYday; I just recently learned of Gary Viscio's and Crow's death; then of course there is Jeremy, who had his surgery the same day as mine and left us way too soon). My vits could be better; the autoimmune diseases persist. Yet there is an ebb and flow that reminds me life is for living not observing and even when I try to ride the wave, it pulls me in and demands my participation.
I am here to tell you that dreams ARE realized, persistence is key.