Akilah Monifa wasn’t a foodie until she lost 222 pounds. She started with small changes. She gave up diet soda first. At her heaviest, Monifa weighed over 400 pounds. She says there was no one moment when she realized she needed to lose weight. Monifa was trying to eat healthier in order to prepare for the surgery, but was nervous about attending the UNITY Journalists conference in 2012 where she knew there would be a lot of temptations. Her friends, like Karen Bailis on the left, supported her efforts and helped keep her on track.