From 900 to 371 pounds, Captain America trainer inspired this woman to get healthy

This woman’s inspiring weight loss journey will motivate anyone to work on their own fitness goals! She shared her weight loss before and after pics on social media, big thanks to Captain America’s trainer! Ten years ago, at 39 years old, life was very different for Laura Somers.

In 2009, the Chicago, Illinois native weighed her heaviest at almost 900 pounds. Hindered by her own body weight, Laura struggled to perform even the simplest of tasks, such as getting up out of a chair or climbing the stairs.

Laura knew that a change must occur, but it was when she was diagnosed with a heart condition that she understood how soon it needed to happen.


Doctors diagnosed her with cardiomyopathy, a condition that affects the heart’s muscles. Laura had only two choices – she could either lose weight or die. She was also warned that if she didn’t make changes to her lifestyle, she might need a heart transplant.

“I only had 15 percent usage of my heart on my left side. I was scared to death. It was a sobering moment. The doctor had told me the cardiomyopathy was like when they see it in people who are drinkers or do drugs. I do neither,” Laura said.

Due to her poor heart function, her body had been retaining more than 100 pounds of fluid. Doctors were able to remove it, but Laura understood that she had to take on a much bigger task if she wanted to save her life.


Prior to her diagnosis, Laura rarely left her house. But now, she must start an exercise regime and ditch all the unhealthy food that’s been part of her regular diet.

She began with the basics – she put herself on a low-sodium diet and she started taking short walks around her house. Between the years 2009 and 2016, she was able to shed off an incredible 365 pounds, but that’s when Laura got stuck. The weight loss plateau has hit her, and she knew that she needed to kick her routine up a notch.

Laura turned to an unusual source for help: social media. She was a huge fan of the Marvel Universe, and one of her favorite characters was Bucky Barnes, played by actor Sebastian Stan. The latter usually shares his workouts online with his trainer, Don Saladino. One time, Don asked viewers to send in their questions, so Laura took the chance.


Don’s reaction to her amazing weight loss was expected: “He answered me. He said, ‘Whoa really? You did this?’”

After that conversation, the two began to message back and forth, and eventually, Don agreed to help Laura get out of her weight loss plateau. He advised Laura to ditch white flour and sugar and add more lean proteins and veggies in her diet.

“She had to eliminate all the crap,” he explained. “Her life was on the line.”


Laura was still using her walker to get around, so Don started her on a 30-day walking challenge. This exercise brought back Laura’s strength and stamina and two years later, she walks about 18,000 steps a day!

“When I started her on the treadmill she couldn’t walk a minute in one shot. In only about a month, there was a lot of progress,” Don said.

Since Don is from New York, all their training happens virtually. But recently, the coach decided to meet Laura in person and even surprised her with a custom-made treadmill decked out in Captain America colors.


After her workout sessions, she takes a picture to send to Don and shares her weight loss before and after pics on her Instagram page, with a growing audience of 2,883 people. To date, Laura has lost another 175 pounds, bringing her weight down to 371 pounds. With a goal of 200 pounds, she still has a long way to go, but it is for certain that she can do it!

“Mentally and physically, I am stronger than I think I am. That’s the biggest thing for me,” she said.


As someone who’s surpassed the toughest obstacles in losing weight, Laura has three tips: Find support; don’t diet, instead, change your lifestyle; and lastly, celebrate your non-scale victories!

Losing all that weight really turned Laura’s life around for the better and gave her back the freedom that she once lost. Now, she doesn’t need a CPAP machine to sleep at night. She can climb the stairs, walk for miles, and drive again because she fits behind the wheel now!


“It is all those little things. I have a lot more confidence. I am lucky that I have this support team behind me. I owe Don my life. If I wouldn’t have found him to help me I don’t know where I would go,” Laura said.

UPDATED photo: 12/30/19

Congratulations Laura, you weight loss before and after pics are truly inspiring! Your perseverance and fighting spirit is an inspiration to us all, and we can’t wait to see you when you finally reach your weight loss goal!