A woman who was told she was ‘too fat to conceive’ now looks unrecognisable after dropping nine dress sizes in just one year.
Financial service analyst, Alida Dreyer, from Sydney was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome at 13.
One of the symptoms the now 27-year-old endured throughout her life was weight gain and she also suffered from anxiety and depression.
“I have always been the ‘big girl’ ever since I can remember. Food was my vice and with it came a passion for cooking and baking. Being overweight lead to extreme bullying in school and it got so bad I didn’t attend for up to three months at a time.” Alida said.
Subjected to a slew of remarks from people such as ‘Thump thump thump’, ‘You’ve a pretty face for a fat girl’ and ‘You’d be pretty if you lost weight’ Alida used to hide away crying in the bathroom.
At 144kg Alida couldn’t fit into plane seats and needed belt extenders. She couldn’t walk very far without crippling calves and painful chafing and being a dress size 26, none of the clothes she wanted to wear would fit her.
“In a day I ate about 3,500 calories which consisted of four slices of toast loaded with butter and vegemite for breakfast with two large coffees and sugar. At lunch I ate large portions of sushi with macaroni and cheese. At dinner I’d have pizza and through the day I’d snack on large bags of crisps, hot chips and biscuit shapes and washed it all down with high sugar cordial and fruit juice,” Alida said.
At 23 she was ready to have a baby, but health professionals told her she was too fat to conceive. A month later her relationship ended and Alida knew she needed to change her life.
“I was stripped to the absolute core and forced to take a look at myself. From that day on I decided I had to learn to love myself,” she said,
Through a combination of diet and exercise, Alida managed to drop 40kg and lost another 37kg through vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery.
In total she lost 77kg within just one year and now fits into a size 8.
Eating a vegan diet helps me to maintain my weight and on an average day now for breakfast I’ll eat tofu with mushrooms on high protein bread with coffee and soy milk, lunch might be a chickpea curry with quinoa and steamed vegetables, dinner might be vegan spaghetti bolognaise,” Alida said.
“If I snack, I’ll have something like watermelon, strawberries or blueberries, Vitawheats with peanut butter or one square of vegan chocolate with a banana.”
Post weight loss Alida has had to deal with excess skin which hung low and ripped and even became infected. She had to have three skin removal surgeries to address this.
“I love myself sick now! I am strong, I am confident, and I am worthy. I believe that I’m worthy to live a life that I want to live, a life that I am proud of. When I look into the mirror now, I smile. I love each of my scars, they tell a different story of strength and of overcoming my demons,” she said.
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