Before and after. MaryKate Schmidt / mediadrumworld

By Liana Jacob

MEET the determined woman who contracted MRSA bacteria leading her to comfort eat after being bullied for her condition yet defied them by dropping one-stone and eleven pounds in just six weeks.

Spine sales representative, MaryKate Schmidt (26), from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, was only 14 when she contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), also known as a ‘superbug’, which can in some cases be fatal, resulting in her legs being covered in spots, leading to her being bullied by her teenaged peers over her appearance.

MaryKate became extremely depressed, self-conscious and to cope with her negative feelings, she turned to food for comfort.

She began to lead a life of consuming as little as 1,200 calories during the week and binging on junk food during the weekends. Her yo-yo diet lead to her 12-stone two-pound physique, and a UK dress size of 12.

She now consumes 1,600 to 2,200 calories a day and weighs 10-stone five pounds with a UK dress size six to eight. She described the moment, at the age of fourteen, when she became aware of her MRSA.

Scarred leg. MaryKate Schmidt / mediadrumworld

“I woke up with three spots on my legs that looked like bug bites, so I thought nothing of them,” MaryKate said.

“Then before I knew it, my leg was covered in almost blister-like lesions. I went straight to the dermatologist and they took cultures which identified that it was MRSA.

“I was put on medication to get rid of the infection. We didn’t catch it early enough, so the disease ate away at my legs leaving behind crazy scars.

“I was so embarrassed by them because no one wanted to sit next to me as they thought they would get the disease.

“I felt like I was crawling out of my own skin. I always felt lethargic, depressed, and tired. I was still a pretty confident person, but losing the weight has made me happier and comfortable in my own skin.”

Pre BBG and week 27. MaryKate Schmidt / mediadrumworld

MaryKate decided to get rid of the scarring from her legs, and began having laser surgery once a month for a whole year.

One day she came across Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide programme that changed her life.

“Fast-forward from fourteen to twenty-one years old, I decided to quit my passion of volleyball,” MaryKate said.

“However, without volleyball I felt lost and turned to food and alcohol, where I gained back two-stone seven pounds, reaching an all-time high weight of twelve-stone seven pounds.

“Again, I became severely depressed and was always looking for a way to feel better. Then I came across the BBG programme and never looked back.

“Since starting the programme in 2016, I’ve lost one-stone eleven pounds, gained lean muscle, became extremely confident and finally got my life back.”

Before and after. MaryKate Schmidt / mediadrumworld

The BBG (Bikini Body Guide) programme MaryKate followed to lose the weight consisted of a 12-week routine of 28-minute circuits for three to four days a week, along with three to four days of steady cardio.

“I began eating lean protein, healthy carbs and good fats every two to three hours to maintain my lean physique,” she said.

“I don’t weigh my food, track macros or do any insane diets. I make sure I shop the perimeter of the grocery shop and try to limit food out of a box.

“I am so much happier. I feel amazing in my own skin and I feel like I can accomplish anything that comes my way.

“I know there may be lulls in life, but I’ve truly learned to love myself inside and out. I think working out makes me feel happy too because through Instagram, I am motivating so many people around the world to become the best versions of themselves.

Before BBG and after BBG. MaryKate Schmidt / mediadrumworld

“I didn’t realise it, but before I was creating a negative relationship with food as I would be so strict, eat everything in sight before I had to be strict again.

“I was so on and off that I wasn’t getting anywhere. If there is anything I’ve learned it’s to be consistent and not to deprive yourself.

“Now that I love working out, I make sure I sweat at least six days a week. Whether it’s yoga, hiking, spin class or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) circuits. I am always getting in a workout.

Comments from her peers was the toughest part of her healing process.

“As much as people have been positive, a lot of people don’t understand the lifestyle I live and why. I get a lot of push back when I eat out with others,” she said.

“They constantly as me why I order certain foods, or that I must be on a “diet” because I choose to eat healthy.

April 2016 and now. MaryKate Schmidt / mediadrumworld

“Would I make a comment when someone orders a cheese burger? No, so why are you commenting when I order salmon?

“My advice is stay true to you; your goals, and your life that you want to live. People will come around.

“People are always commenting and asking how long it will be before they see results. There is no secret. Find a workout you enjoy, find healthy foods you enjoy and sweat every day.

“Just start. I know it’s scary. I know you’ll feel like you won’t see results, but don’t be scared to ask questions and do your research.”

MRSA is a bacterial infection that is embedded into the skin; usually in the nose, armpits, groin or buttocks. This is known as “colonisation” or “carrying” MRSA.

You can contract the infection by either getting into contact with an MRSA carrier, sharing objects with an MRSA carrier.

Approximately one in 30 people fall victim to the disease and people who stay in hospital are most likely to catch it.

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