People Magazine features Federal Way woman on cover

Federal Way resident Sharee Samuels, 24, is featured on the cover of People magazine
Federal Way resident Sharee Samuels, 24, is featured on the cover of People magazine's Jan. 13 issue, which features ordinary people who went from heavy to healthy.
— image credit: Courtesy of People magazine

People magazine is featuring a Federal Way woman on the cover of its Jan. 13 issue as the publication celebrates the incredible weight-loss transformations of real people who went from heavy to healthy.

At her heaviest, 24-year-old Sharee Samuels of Federal Way weighed 256 pounds.

“I never remember being below 200 pounds. My parents encouraged healthy eating, but I would sneak food before they came home from work and after they went to bed,” she tells People. “At 17, I broke down shopping because I was so frustrated they don’t make cute clothes for teens in a size 24.”

Her turning point came in 2010 after studying abroad in Scotland, where she learned what eating healthy meant.

“Without all my favorite prepared American foods, I started eating vegetables and walking everywhere. When I came back, I lost 68 pounds. I never remember feeling so light,” she says.

Now, she has been teaching Zumba for four years and follows a vegan diet.

“In August I got married to my husband [Andre, 27], who also lost 93 pounds. Both of us are the fittest we have ever been!”

Samuels and other ordinary people, who lost a combined total of 3,086 pounds, share intimate details about their emotional weight-loss journeys and how they keep the pounds off in People’s 12th annual “Half Their Size” issue in a 25-page cover story.

For more information, visit


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