By Liana Jacob
THIS mum-of-two underwent weight loss surgery and shed half her bodyweight after being labelled ‘fat’ in a heated argument has a revealed a picture of a giant piece of excess skin she had removed with triumph.
Accountant and mum-of-two, Melissa Jurado (34), from California, USA, always indulged in unhealthy food and would consume a whopping 4,000-calories a day. She would also turn to food if she was bored, stressed, or sad. This paired with her tendency to yo-yo diet led her to reach 22st 2Ibs and a UK dress size 26.
Melissa had anxiety about eating out and one day ended up having an argument with a loved one who called her fat, this made her decide to make a change.
She lost 6st 6lbs by undergoing gastric sleeve surgery and then lost at further 4st 4lbs through exercise and adopting a ketogenetic diet. She is now a slender 10st 10lbs and a UK size eight. She eats 1,700-calories a day and weightlifts six days a week.
“When I hit 30, I felt like a 60-year-old. I didn’t want to live sad anymore; I wanted to be happy and healthy,” Melissa said.
“In an argument with a loved one, I was called fat. I knew I was fat, but hearing it made it more of a reality for me.
“I was sad and embarrassed; most of the time I didn’t feel like a fat person and many people tell me now that they didn’t see me as a fat person.
“I would mask my weight by having a loud personality and being a people-person, but at the end of the day, I would cry myself to sleep at night.
“I lost six-stone six pounds with the gastric sleeve surgery; it was great but after being plateaued for six months, I knew it was not the answer to life-long success and I was still not happy with my body.”
Gastric sleeve gastrectomy is where a large part of the stomach is removed so it’s much smaller than before, meaning you don’t eat as much as you could before, leaving you feeling full quicker.
“However, it ignited something great in me; a passion I never knew existed. I changed over to healthy eating, dove into fitness and became a certified personal trainer. I lost another four-stone four pounds and I am proud of that because it came from pure hard work and dedication,” Melissa said.
“With my new passion for life, came the greatest gift of all; confidence. I have used that confidence to get me a better job and lots of new opportunities that I never would have imagined. I even landed myself in a commercial.
“I now follow a Keto diet and workout daily. I went Keto in March this year and it has been the greatest thing for my body. I love to weigh lift now and I’ll always be a cardio bunny. Cardio is what helped me shed that first six-stone six pounds.
“I love myself now; the self-discovery of the woman I am was such a blessing. I have these strong traits I carry now and I’m so proud of myself. I turned a life of sadness and trauma into triumph; a true testimony to living healthy and happy.”
Melissa also says that recreating a good relationship with food and finding the right balance was the hardest part of the process but she is glad she kept going. Her new weight and lifestyle is now the talk of all her family parties.
“I had such a bad relationship with food that I didn’t know it was okay to have something occasionally or in moderation and not feel like a failure,” she said.
“Finding other ways to express my emotions instead of using food was a challenge but I found that using social media to document my journey and type my feelings aloud has been amazing. It really helps me not to turn to food, instead I write it out and express it that way.
“For people that know me personally, they are so happy for me. I’ve lost lots of weight before but never kept it off. This time was different though; you could see that this time I grew as a person through my weight loss.
“Some don’t recognise me and others are ecstatic for me. At family parties, my weight loss is always the topic of choice for the first part of it and I can see how proud everyone is for me.
“If you are just starting out, take a blank sheet of paper and draw your ideal self.
What are you wearing? How do you feel? What do you think about? What do you do for fun? Now go live like that person. Be that person.”
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