‘Was too big for Disneyland ride’: Woman maintains 10st weight loss by cutting out 1 food
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Desiree explained: “I was overweight my ENTIRE life! You can say my weight loss journey officially began when I was 90 pounds at five years old and enrolled in my first children’s boot camp. Finally, when I was eight years old, I was officially diagnosed with Hypothyroid Disease which would explain my difficulty in losing weight.
“Meanwhile, my twin sister and three older sisters have always been walking Barbie dolls. We all played the same sports, we ate the same foods, but I was the only big one in the family and always the biggest on any team or friend group.”
Desiree explained: “As I got older, I continued playing sports, at college, I started going to the gym, sometimes twice a day. I tried burning more calories than what I was consuming! Nothing was working and I was quickly approaching over 21 stone at 23 years old.
“Despite all of the efforts I’ve made throughout my entire life, my hypothyroid disease was taking over. My hormones were completely out of balance and the weight kept piling on.”
The dieter shared the traumatic moment that made her realise she needed a drastic change.
She explained: “One day, I had a CLICK MOMENT. I was at Disneyland with my entire family and we waited in line for a ride for two whole hours! By the time I got on the ride, I couldn’t get it to close over my belly. I started to panic and could feel people staring… as I was the only person we were waiting for. Not one, not two… but THREE strong workers attempted to help me and push the bar down on my body in a group effort… and it still didn’t work.
“I had to get up and leave the ride in front of everyone because I couldn’t fit. It was at that moment I realised this was no way for a 23-year-old to live! I couldn’t even do Disneyland anymore??! I knew SOMETHING had to change,” Desiree said.
The slimmer decided to have weight loss surgery a doctor had recommended her a few years back.
“I didn’t go through with surgery back then because I was terrified about the judgment that would come along with it. Most people see fat people and think they must be lazy. That was never my case and I’ve spent a lifetime trying to explain to people that I’m overweight due to a disease, not a lack of activity and a healthy diet. But, I finally recognised that Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) could save my life!!” she explained.
Desiree admitted: “I knew that surgery should always be the last resort after you’ve tried everything! At this point, I truly felt I had. I wanted nothing more than to know what life feels like outside of obesity.”
She shared the “very strict diet plan” she had to follow after surgery: “We had to start off on a liquid diet weeks before surgery and continued after surgery! For the first month, I was on all liquids.
“Eventually I moved onto semi-soft foods like beans, yoghurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, and eggs! I was able to finally reintroduce meats and veggies around four to five months post-op but things like rice, noodles, and bread would expand in my stomach and felt too uncomfortable! That’s when I started using lettuce to wrap my sandwiches and zucchini noodles in my pasta dishes!”
But how did Desiree manage to maintain her new weight?
She explained: “Finding low carb options helped me lose weight faster but also allowed me to feel good and get in extra micronutrients that are hard to acquire after surgery!
“I also COMPLETELY cut out fast food the entire first year! I was a full-time student with three part-time jobs! I meal prepped like my journey depended on it!
“I didn’t want to catch myself reaching for something quick and easy when it’s not the healthiest option for me! Eating the right foods in the right portions, packed and planned ahead was key! I ate all of my meals out of one-ounce containers in the beginning, then three-ounce meals the entire first year of my journey.”
Desiree shared her top tips for those trying to lose weight: “With practising portion control, eating the right meals, and working out five to six days a week, it took me exactly one year to meet my ultimate weight loss goal of losing 10 stone! I had lost exactly half my body weight! It was absolutely unreal to think I was walking around as half the girl I once was! This was so motivating and I was so ready to keep going!”
Desiree explained how her weight loss journey changed her “entire life”.
She said: “I feel so free now that I stopped allowing the number on the scale to define my worth. This journey has mainly been one of building self-love and confidence! I would not have been able to reach my goals if I didn’t believe in myself and fix the way I spoke to myself in my own head… where no one else can hear.
“I walk with newfound confidence and self-love that I never had before.
“I feel so much more confident in everything I do from wearing a swimsuit, lifting at the gym, and speaking in front of crowds! As a 300 pound girl, those were my nightmares. Fitting rooms, the gym, classrooms, restaurants, public places, photos… Everything was so uncomfortable and embarrassing!
“Now that I got my life back, all I want to do is be out and about just living my best life!!! Gone are the days I turn down nights out with the girls because I didn’t want to run into anybody from high school so they could see how big I had gotten! I’m working on my journey physically, mentally, and emotionally and growing every single day through it and it’s absolutely priceless,” Desiree explained.
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