By Rebecca Drew
MEET the incredible woman who has lost nearly half her body weight after undergoing bariatric surgery to remove 70-percent of her overgrown stomach after feeling ‘close to death’.
Growing up, photo editor, Candace Faye McBride (27) from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said that her parents had no knowledge of healthy eating and they lived off microwave meals that were affordable to feed five children. At her heaviest, she weighed 29st 11lbs and was a UK size 30.
It was Candace’s sister who urged her to start her weight loss journey together which after a half a year of following a doctor approved diet, Candace underwent a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) in June 2015. Two years later, Candace is a svelte 15st 3lbs and a UK size 16.
“I hid behind a façade of confidence but I was so depressed and I honestly felt so close to death, it was terrifying,” said Candace.
“It was like I knew my body was giving up on me. I didn’t feel pretty and started to feel hopeless.
“My sister was extremely depressed about her weight and she was scared for me as well. She asked me to please do something invasive with her and although I was reluctant, I agreed to try it.
“We first did six months of a doctor supervised diet and I lost less than ten-pounds in that time, then on June 1, 2015 I underwent bariatric surgery for vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
“They removed seventy-percent of my overgrown and stretched out stomach, this allowed me to practice portion control. I also follow a seventy/thirty meal plan which is mainly proteins and vegetables.
“VSG was just the tool I needed to change my life forever.”
Since having her surgery, Candace has swapped fried foods for whole foods with lots of vegetables and protein. She plays softball three-times-a-week, weight trains, hikes, and keeps active. Candace says that her surgery has changed her life in more ways than she could ever imagine but she struggled with her initial change in appearance.
“I would say that seeing the new me in the mirror was rough for a while, I changed so rapidly that it was like body dimorphic disorder in one way but in another I was overwhelmed with my results and ecstatic,” she explained.
“I think that so far the excess skin has been the most difficult challenge, not only is it something that I don’t love seeing, it makes wearing clothes much harder and it makes my fitness routines very difficult.
“I don’t even know where to begin, my life is so much greater now! I can sit in chairs without fear of them breaking, seatbelts fit just fine, I don’t constantly live my life in fear. I can actually live.
“I am sincerely happier than I have ever been. I love the person I have become because I have always felt that way deep down.”
Candace says that people don’t recognise her anymore and encourages others in her position to just start their journey.
“Overall, people are shocked and impressed, my favourite reaction is seeing someone who hasn’t seen me since I was over twenty-eight-stone and having to let them know who I am.
“It always takes a minute for it to settle but then they are blown away. It’s very humbling.
“You don’t have to start with something huge, just start. My recommendation is to take a look at your nutrition first, alter that into something healthier and more beneficial for your body.
“Then I would start bringing in fitness, swimming, walking and resistance training.
“These are all good things to try when you are at the beginning of your journey. Lastly, keep your eye on the prize. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/candacefaye14/