A woman has revealed exactly how she transformed her body from a size 24 to a size 10 — after wanting to start “living again”.
Brittany Brown, 28, from Tasmania, struggled with her weight since she was 12 years old but didn’t realise how much of a problem it was until she hopped on the scales at university.
“I have always had a problematic relationship with food and struggled with binge eating,” Brittany told news.com.au.
“I was stuck in a vicious cycle of bingeing and restricting my food. I was making really bad choices.”
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Tipping the scales at 120kg, Brittany soon realised she had gained 30kg in the space of just two years.
Brittany said the guilt and embarrassment she felt about her size often stopped her from doing normal things with friends and family.
“There were so many things I said no to, so many missed opportunities because I didn’t feel comfortable with the way I looked,” she said.
“I wouldn’t try rock climbing or go abseiling or do anything physical because I was always so conscious about my weight.”
Clothes shopping was also a major issue for her at her heaviest, with Brittany admitting her weight loss was motivated by wanting to be “bikini beautiful”.
“I would have to shop exclusively in the plus size, there was no way I was going to fit in a regular outfit from Cotton On,” she said.
In front of her friends, Brittany would eat what was considered to be a “normal” amount of food.
But at night, behind closed doors, her dangerous binge eating habit would take over, and she would often consume up to 5000 calories worth of junk food in a single sitting.
“I would eat copious amounts of McDonald’s or KFC, chocolate, ice cream, chips, bread and cheeses,” she said.
“I ate a lot of takeaway and most of it was in secret, late at night, in the car or where people couldn’t see what I was doing.”
The shame associated with these late-night binges meant Brittany restricted her diet the following day.
“I would punish myself by not eating a thing the next day or forcing myself to run on a treadmill for three hours at the gym,” she said.
“I never wanted people to see how much I was eating.”
Weighing 120kg, Brittany was “fed up” with her weight restricting her life and decided to take action.
“I felt unattractive and out of control,” she said.
Brittany travelled to Sydney in August 2016 to undergo a vertical sleeve gastrectomy — a procedure where part of the stomach is removed — which limits the amount of food you can eat.
The $9950 surgery was a success, and by December the following year, Brittany had dropped a staggering 52kg.
She said learning about nutrition and portion control, as well as F45 exercise, was the key to her dramatic, sustained weight loss.
“F45 had a massive influence on my life after the surgery, and health and fitness in general became very important to me,” she said.
Despite being ecstatic with her weight loss, Brittany said she soon began feeling anxious about the large amounts of excess skin covering her body.
“I knew that excess skin came with weight loss but I never thought it would bother me,” she said.
“I just assumed I’d be happy enough having lost the weight.”
She lived with the excess skin for 12 months before deciding to have plastic surgery to get her figure back in August last year.
The three rounds of surgery cost a total of $22,000 and removed 1.5kg of skin from her stomach as well as 1kg of skin from her arms and breasts.
Now weighing a healthy 74kg, and fitting a dress size 10, Brittany said having the surgery was the best decision she had ever made.
“It completely transformed my life. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I did without the surgery,” she said.
“The surgery isn’t a cure for an eating disorder or poor relationships with food. It’s a tool that enables you to make better choices.”