ANNA, IL (KFVS) - A Heartland woman's painful struggle with her weight landed her in the spotlight on a reality TV show.
Her emotional journey is one she hopes others can learn from.
Hillary Hines is use to taking center stage.
However, even when pretending to be someone else, she still felt uncomfortable in her own skin.
"I always had those insecurities even when I was on stage I would always be like people are judging me," said Hines.
The 25-year-old from Anna says her weight kept her from enjoying life and in an unhealthy relationship.
"In my opinion, he took advantage of me in a vulnerable situation," said Hines.
She called what her boyfriend did abusive and downright mean.
"He would jump on my back and make me carry him around his house until I burnt enough calories," said Hines. "Or, if I took my dogs on a walk to get some exercise he a few times would lock me out of the apartment and say go walk some more and burn some more calories and then I will let you in."
But what was thought to be motivation turned into the exact opposite, and the scale continued to move in the wrong direction.
"I think I let it happen for so long because it gave me an excuse to feel bad instead of just being self pity all of the time," she said. "It became an excuse to feel bad."
After two years of abuse, the couple called it quits. An a opportunity she couldn't pass on landed her front and center again, only this time on a reality TV show titled "My Big Fat Revenge."
"It will be an amazing life thing that I can take with me forever," said Hines. "It's definitely opened a lot doors and reopened doors that I closed a long time ago."
It is a show where its title says it all. While she says it felt great to deliver a punch to her former and abusive partner 92 pounds lighter, the show changed more than her physical appearance.
"You can always find clothes that fit you, but it's when you fit into those clothes and you feel good about it that makes the difference," she said.
Hillary spent three months in Los Angeles during the taping of the show. She says she still has more weight to lose but has never been happier.