By Dani Maxwell
VERONA, Wis. (WKOW/CNN) - "My knees hurt, my back hurt. i had high blood pressure. I was pre-diabetic. I was going down a bad path," said Aimee Smith.
Smith knew she was big, but since her scale only went to 300 pounds she didn't know how big. She finally weighed herself one day and was shocked when it said 427 pounds.
"I cried. I had no idea I had gotten that heavy," she said.
But she stayed that way for years.
When she had her second daughter, the c-section went terribly wrong because of her weight.
"Everything hinged on my weight. Depression, my knees, I couldn't move and I figured I would be the 600 pound bedridden mom," she said.
[Reporter]: "Is that where you thought your life was going?"
"Absolutely," she said.
It was then Smith decided to save herself. She had gastric bypass surgery, then enrolled at the local YMCA.
"I just stood and did movements. I couldn't sit down for three days," she said.
Then she signed up for a "couch to 5k" program and took it twice.
She learned to run and realized she wanted to learn to swim, but she had never done that before.
"I couldn't put my face in the water in the first class. It was very painful," she said.
Just one year later, she runs, bikes and swims. She has completed two triathlons and two half marathons.
Eventually, she wants to do an ironman.
"There's a group of us out there who have had weight loss surgery who are athletes now. I never felt comfortable saying that," said Smith.
But her coach at SBR Coaching in Verona has called her that for a long time.
"I've never worked with anybody quite like Aimee. She started her journey by losing the weight and not knowing quite what to do only that she thought she was going to die and she needed to do something," said the coach.