rachel has lost an amazing 116kgs (255ibs). She now can walk into a room with confidence and own it, instead of trying to be invisible
“Life is about balance so don’t punish yourself for the food you eat or the fact that your weight has gotten to a level that you’re unhappy with just own the amazing person you are who is making a health conscious decision to lose weight.”
When did you start gaining weight?
I struggled with being a chubby child and went to Weight Watchers when I was 11 this resulted in me losing 20 kilos and becoming a “lifetime”member. I maintained this weight loss until I was 15 and it slowly crept on over the years. I was 18 when I was first medically classified as overweight and was Obese by 20.
What was your heaviest weight?
My heaviest weight was 233kgs or 514lbs
What made you decide to lose weight / what was your turning point?
I wanted to be a mother. I had had failed pregnancies and having been diagnosed with PCOS I knew conceiving and carrying a pregnancy would be difficult. I also didn’t want to be the mum who couldn’t play with my children.
I was at a stage where i couldn’t walk 20 metres without being out of breath and needing to sit down so it seemed unfair to any child that I attempt to be a mother.
How much weight have you lost?
So far I have lost 116kgs.
How did you lose your weight?
I undertook Gastric Sleeve Surgery through the Oclinic. Dr Taylor was my surgeon. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
How long did it take you to lose your weight?
My journey has been 22 months so far. I still have another 40 kilos to lose so I would say my journey still has another 12 months to go.
Did you do any exercise during your weight loss journey?
Absolutely. In the beginning I saw an exercise physiologist to ensure that I was safely exercising due to my sheer weight I would walk for 1 minute at a time on a treadmill. These left me exhausted and out of breath but I built it slowly. I can now walk 7 kms without stopping if I want to. I swim. I dance I try to keep it varied and fun.
I also recently completed my first park run when overseas in Wales. It killed me but I have never felt prouder or more amazing as I did when I finished. It took me forever but I did it.
What was your biggest motivation?
I really wanted to start a family. I wanted to be a better aunty. I wanted to feel healthy and to not be scared anytime I felt an ache or pain that it wasn’t the beginning of a stroke or a heart attack.
What was the hardest part about losing weight?
Seeing myself for who I am now outwardly. I often forget that I no longer weigh 233kgs whether its how much room I think I take up in a space or clothing wise. I still automatically go to pick up the size 26 even though it’s far too big now.
I also have some loose skin…. most of the time I wear it with pride but there are moments when I feel it get the better of my self esteem.
What used to be your favourite food?
BREAD!!!! Anything bread related, toast, garlic bread. Potatoes, pasta, rice I wanted all of the carbohydrates.
What is your favourite food now?
Poached eggs- love them now never ate them before. Salmon and suprisingly sweets. I never had a sweet tooth prior to my surgery.
One thing you miss about being overweight?
I still am overweight but I do miss the firmness of my skin before. Yes I was bigger but my body felt firm.
Favourite body part?
Honestly? My Breasts. They stayed even when I lost my weight. They haven’t even deflated or sagged… It’s a modern miracle.
How did you reward your accomplishments?
Never with food. I reward with experiences like the Zoo or the Aquarium or I reward with clothing or other physical things like getting my hair or my nails done.
Now that you’ve lost weight, how do you maintain it?
How did you celebrate when you reached your goal weight?
I’m still getting there but I think a special holiday will be in order.
What’s your favourite thing to wear now?
My whole life I wanted to dress in the Retro / Rockabilly fashion I wanted to be a modern pinup girl. Now I get to buy those dresses and totally rock them.
Do people treat you differently now that you’re thinner?
I treat myself differently now. I walk into a room with confidence and own it where as before I would do whatever I could to feel invisible.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I have an enormous amount of energy. I get bored sitting around doing nothing now. This winter I have also truly felt the cold. Has Winter always been this cold and I was just too well insulated to feel it?
I no longer struggle with the mundane day to day things, showering, wiping my bottom and tying my shoes….. it’s amazing how easy those things are.
What’s your #1 weight loss tip?
Life is about balance so don’t punish yourself for the food you eat or the fact that your weight has gotten to a level that you’re unhappy with just own the amazing person you are who is making a health conscious decision to lose weight.
I would also recommend finding a good psychologist weight loss and in my case extreme weight loss can mess with a persons self perception.
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