By Liana Jacob
MEET the determined London lady who boasts incredible curves after losing two stone two pounds in a year and is now embracing her voluptuous body.
IT analyst, Ioana Chira (26), who has been living in London, UK, for the last three years, was always a full-figured girl, but always carried an optimistic and ambitious personality.
When she was 18 years old, she watched one of her biggest dreams slip away after failing to join the Police Service after she had been training for a year.
This led her to lose confidence in her abilities and made her feel like a ‘loser’, from that point she didn’t care what she was eating and over-indulged in junk food.
Following her extreme indulge of consuming between 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day, Ioana, quickly reached her peak weight of 18st 2Ibs and a UK dress size of 22.
This resulted in her experiencing swollen legs, back pain from her heavy chest and being so insecure in her appearance, she didn’t look into any mirrors.
One day she had a revelation, realising she had been living in denial for so long, she decided to make a change, reducing her weight to 16st and a UK dress size 14.
She now consumes between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day.
“I wasn’t particularly unhappy especially since I had my boyfriend at the time who would always tell me how beautiful I am,” Ioana said.
“The part that used to make me really insecure was going shopping considering that in Romania extra large is similar to a medium here.
“My legs have always been bigger than the average person’s and I used to hate them so much, no trousers would ever fit me.
“Back in those days, I used to only wear black trousers; most of them custom made or bought from the fashion shops for old women.
“When I was 18, one of my dreams was to join the Police Academy. I’ve trained with them for about a year and I felt like I could do it.
“I failed and I felt like a loser because I put all my hopes in my dream. From that point, I didn’t really care what I was eating and I’ve started putting back the weight quickly.
“I kept on getting bigger but I couldn’t muster up the motivation to actually do something about it. I preferred to live in denial.
“Summer is really hot in Romania and my legs would get swollen. I’ve always had an office job and I started to have back pain. My decision was more like a revelation; I couldn’t believe I let myself live in denial for so long.
“I could finally see outside my little box and I’ve spent some time with myself and analysed what made me get to that point.
“On March 2017, I made the decision to change my life and I’ve promised myself that this time I won’t give up on me.”
Changing her lifestyle from no exercise whatsoever to training five times a week, attending Zumba classes and incorporating a high protein diet, cutting half of her calories from before, Ioana, originally from Romania now feels stronger and her previous pains and discomforts have subsided.
“Investing in myself is the best decision of my life. My legs are not getting swollen anymore, I don’t have back pain and I’m extremely flexible and full of energy,” she said.
“Besides the physical change, I am extremely proud of the mental change. I’ve proved to myself that I can do it. I’ve proved that all you need is willpower, ambition and consistency.
“I feel extremely confident now; I love my body and I know that I can achieve my goals and dreams if I work for it.
“I had a very strict diet in the first year of my journey and I got to a point where I was really obsessed and wouldn’t want to eat fearing that I would put the weight back on.
“I’ve put back quite a lot of the weight on, however, this time the game is different. I’ve managed to shape my body exactly the way I wanted and put the weight in the right places.
“I am never insisting on numbers because my journey is a bit different. The difference between then and now is not massive.
“I remember when I posted my first transformation pictures, so many people said that it has been photoshopped or that I had a tummy tuck or liposuction for sure.
“Because of all the weight loss magic products that are on the market, waist trainers find it hard to believe that you can actually get a shape like mine through a natural process.”
The fluctuation of her body throughout the process was the toughest part for Ioana to face going through it and not giving up.
“The hardest thing in this journey is to accept your body and the changes that happen. Getting a functional partnership between your brain and body is a continuous fight.
“When I was at my lowest weight, everyone would say how good I looked, however, I didn’t feel that way. I would feel down most of the time and wouldn’t even want to look in the mirror and see all the cellulite, stretch marks and saggy boobs.
“I always believed that being slim would make me happy, however, when I got there it was not the case. I’ve realised that happiness is something beyond size and as long as I keep my body healthy and strong – I’m a winner.”
Ioana explains that because she comes from an Eastern European country, where everyone over 9st is considered ‘fat’, this has affected her confidence, motivating her to encourage women to embrace their curves.
“There are millions of girls like me and I want to show them they can build their own life and happiness.
“They’ve been bullied and shamed for so long that they’ve accepted the status of ‘fat and ugly’, actually believing there is something wrong with them.
“Plus size women should be promoted more. A big help would be to stop re-touching magazine pictures and show the reality instead of an airbrushed image.
“My profile is all about being real. A lot of the curvy girls have self-esteem issues, especially when it comes to dressing up or going to the gym.
“I am showing my daily outfits to make my girls realise that it’s all about confidence; that’s what actually makes the clothes look good on you.
“Stop planning and start doing. It’s not rocket science and you don’t need to plan it two years in advance. Make small daily changes that you can keep going long term because it’s all about consistency.
“On social media, follow people who inspire you and give you the motivation you need. Surround yourself with positive people because you will need a lot of positive vibes throughout your journey.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/ioana_fit/