By Liana Jacob
MEET the woman who lost an astonishing TWELVE-STONE TWELVE POUNDS in just over a year-and-a-half after taking the brave decision to undergo weight-loss surgery following a life of bullying and low self-esteem.
Sales assistant and mum-of-three Ashley Kaye Fumagalli, 34, from California, USA, grew up as an active little girl, dancing competitively until the age of 17 and often practicing between five and six hours a day.
However, during high school Ashley started to get bullied about her weight, something which took a huge toll on her confidence and led her to think negatively of herself. When her parents split up just a few years later she sought refuge in junk food and fizzy drinks, resulting in her ballooning to 22st 2Ibs and a size 30.
By the age of 22 Ashley had fallen pregnant with her first child, whom she raised on her own until she met the man of her dreams when he was four. She went on to have two more children with her new sweetheart before she was 30, but soon noticed that she was struggling to keep up with her children, frequently running out of breath when she tried to play with them.
After re-evaluating her lifestyle Ashley decided to make a change, and made the bold decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery, a process which divides the stomach into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower pouch to restrict appetite.
This, along with a complete overhaul in her diet and daily exercise routine, helped her drop down to a slender figure of 9st 4Ibs and a size six.
“During high school, the bullying started about my weight; boys never talked to me, I never got asked for dances, that’s when the bad self-talk started, and I started acting out to get attention,” Ashley said.
“Then my parents split up when I was in high school and I started screwing up even more, so they took dancing away from me. I guess you can say that’s when the eating got out of control.
“I would eat fast food, junk food, fizzy drinks and the most vigorous exercise I did back then was some walking due to medical issues.
“I felt unhappy and depressed; eating huge meals at the wrong times. I didn’t like myself, I didn’t respect myself and I couldn’t even look at myself in a mirror.
“I hated to go shopping for clothes because I knew that meant bigger size trousers. I had my first son at a relatively young age of twenty-two.
“I wasn’t in a good relationship, but when my son was four-years-old, I met the man of my dreams and we decided to grow our family and had two children.
“When I would try to do anything with all three of them, I was useless. I broke down at the age of thirty; I couldn’t even play with my kids without being out of breath or my back pain getting worse.
“I decided to change my life to show my daughter a healthier lifestyle and save her from any torment that I had to endure.
“I never want her to deal with even the slightest bit of what I went through when I was younger. I initially lost the weight through gastric bypass surgery, now, almost two years on, I lost the rest by having a strict diet and exercise.
“Losing the weight has changed my life greatly. Most of my medical issues have dissipated and after getting through the mental effects of surgery, I’m so much happier now.
“I cherish my body; I treat it with the upmost respect to keep myself as healthy as I can be. I not only like myself, I love myself.”
Like many weight loss journeys, Ashley’s came with a few challenges, one being the occasional inconsistency in her weight results.
“The dreaded plateau in weight loss and in the beginning, the over-stressing about the number on the scale were the hardest parts of my journey.
“Sometimes, I will go up and talk to someone I haven’t seen in a while and they won’t even recognise. But overall, I get ‘oh my gosh, you look amazing and so much happier.’
“My advice would be to ask for help. Never be afraid to start. Find a friend to join you to help keep you motivated and to help you stay accountable. Start small and work your way to a full routine.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/myjourney_rny83/