Stage fright was not a problem for Pebbles Armwood.
As the Rosedale woman was being prepared for an appearance on "Dr. Oz," Dr. Mehmet Oz, the show's host and namesake, approached her backstage.
"He's sweet, so sweet," Armwood said. "He showed up, shook my hand and kissed me on the cheek, said, "You're going to do great," and I was like, "Wow, that was just awesome."
Armwood was featured in a segment at the end of a Dec. 6 episode after she lost more than 40 pounds by following tips including advice she got from the show. Watch clips from the episode on the show's website.
"It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was like unbelievable, it was surreal," she said.
Armwood, who is also the student government president at the Community College of Baltimore County-Essex, sent in her information after seeing a call on the show for viewers who had followed advice they got from watching.
This was when she was just a few months into what has now been a year-long journey.
"I sent in the picture and the email. I had just lost 15, 20 pounds then, forgot all about it," said Armwood, 30. "They contacted me two months ago and said, 'We want to bring you on the show.'"
The show paid for her train trip to New York City to film the episode in mid-November.
Her weight loss started early last year, when at just 29 she was 230 pounds and had recently been told she was borderline diabetic. The scare led to her hitting the gym every morning.
"I love to dance, so I would go to the gym just do a lot of cardio because there was a lot of fat I needed to burn," Armwood said. "I did cardio, I did elliptical, I did intervals, I did weight lifting. I love lifting weights. I could probably bench-press more than a lot of men. I would dance at home. I would go running, I would go jogging. I would do my own little made-up boot camp."
Armwood also made changes to her diet, working in more parsley and lemongrass green tea into her diet, and into smoothies each morning before hitting the gym, both tips she learned from the show. She's now down to 188 pounds, and others noticed the difference before she did.
"I didn't realize it until two months in really," Armwood said. "I noticed my inches going in when I tried clothes on, but I really started noticing like two months in. I was like, 'Whoa, I'm swimming in my clothing."
That clothing includes one wedding dress. She got engaged in Oct. 2011 and plans to tie the knot in Florida in September.
"I have to pay a lot of money to get (the dress) altered," she said, laughing. "My fiance's not happy about that, but I'm happy."
Armwood said that friends regularly email her for weight loss tips and she often is at a loss for specific suggestions, but said mental fitness should always come first.
"If you mentally get fit mentally and emptionally, you're going to want to get up and go to the gym in the morning. You're going to want to eat better. You're going to want to do things diff. It's a lifestyle change; it's not just a fad," Armwood said.
"If I want to eat my donut, I eat my donut. You know why? because I go to the gym the next morning and work out. That's the difference. You have to have pleasure in life."
Are you working on weight loss as a new year's resolution? Have you recently lost a significant amount of weight? Share your stories and tips in the comments.