By Rebecca Drew
MEET the woman who has lost more than eight-and-a-half-stone and says that NOT EATING during daylight hours then binging at night made her tip the scales at a whopping eighteen-stone.
Photographer, Jessica Cassells (28) from Maleny, Queensland, Australia wouldn’t eat anything from the moment she woke up in the morning to dinner time in the evening, when she would gorge on ‘massive’ bowls of homemade curries and heavy foods. At 18st 1lb and a size 18-22, Jessica had low self-esteem and describes herself as ‘heading straight for the grave’.
After trying every diet going and even going vegan, Jessica turned to weight loss surgery as a last resort. As well as undergoing surgery, she puts her transformation down to portion control, calorie counting and education and is now a super slim 9st 6lbs and a size 8-10.
“I needed to change, I was heading straight for the grave if I didn’t do something about my weight. Not only for my health but my frame of mind,” said Jessica.
“One of the main factors that contributed to my weight gain is not eating, as funny as that sounds. I would get up of a morning and start my day with a coffee and not eat until dinner.
“And by that time, I would be starving so dinners would more often than not consist of a massive bowl of curry or something very heavy and way too much.
“I just woke up one day and said to myself, ‘I am not going to live the rest of my life this way’, I knew I could only become the best version of myself if I got rid of the weight and gained back my confidence and spark.
“I had weight loss surgery and this was the last option for me. I had tried every diet on the market, magic weight loss pills and even went vegan. Nothing seemed to work for me.
“Education, Portion control, calorie counting and regular eating is key for my success. Weight loss surgery is not a magic fix and it’s hard work. I still need to be mindful of what I’m eating.
“The only thing that weight loss surgery does is limit portion size, it does not however stop me from eating a cheeseburger every hour. It’s my choice not to. I eat a variety of healthy foods, five times a day, calorie count and exercise.”
Jessica says that she no longer worries about what she looks like but it surprised at how people treat her now.
“Losing weight has of course changed my life in so many ways, I used to have those fat days every day. I was always worrying about my appearance and could never leave the house without a full face of makeup and a cardi covering my arms, even in the height of summer,” she added.
“I’m not so worried about how I look now, I can pop to the shops without any make up on and a cute dress and feel fantastic. More importantly, I do not even think twice about what others think of me or my appearance. My confidence has dramatically increased.
“The biggest thing that has changed for me is how others treat me and this makes me quite sad. When I was larger, people would not give me the time of day but for some reason now people offer to help me carry bags, listen to me and take me seriously.
“It’s horrible to know we live in a world where people are judged and not accepted just because of their weight.
“People who I thought were my friends no longer talk to me and it feels like they were quite happy for me to be the fat friend, but as soon as I started losing the weight and feeling great about myself, they would make nasty comments.”
People don’t always recognise Jessica anymore and says there is no quick fix for weight loss.
“Most people if they have not seen me in a while are shocked or don’t even recognise me. Usually they congratulate me and tell me how much I look like my mum. Before everyone would say, gee, you don’t look anything like you parents at all,” explained Jessica.
“People need to understand that there is no quick fix when it comes to weight loss.
“I would start with knowing what your goal weight is and then put a plan into action.
“Take baby steps, do your research. Meal preparation is also very important, eat regularly, eat small and eat healthy.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/jessica_cassells