By Rebecca Drew
THIS PARAMEDIC mum has shed almost seven-stone in just eight-months after she was repeatedly called ‘fat’ by her ex-husband and couldn’t carry medical equipment upstairs without losing her breath.
Katrina Eddy (33) from Gaston, Oregon, USA, was previously in a verbally abusive marriage where she would seek solace in food and after her divorce she would eat out of boredom, often turning to fast food. Katrina, who works as a paramedic, felt embarrassed of her size and used to think that patients wouldn’t have faith in her abilities because of her weight. At her heaviest, Katrina tipped the scales at 17st 12lbs and was a UK size 24.
Realising she was risking her career and life by being overweight, Katrina opted to have a gastric bypass in January this year. Katrina now eats less than her seven-year-old daughter and her diet consists of meat, cheese, vegetables and fruit with limited sugar and carbs. She’s also taken up kickboxing and weights and is a svelte 10st 13lbs and a UK size 10.
“I was previously in a verbally abusive marriage where I was called fat on a daily basis. So, to fight back I would eat more. Looking back, not the best plan, but I was in a bad place. After the divorce I would eat out of boredom. I was too tired to cook so I grabbed fast food,” she said.
“I was embarrassed by how I looked. I felt like when people met me, they wouldn’t be able to look past my weight.
“As a paramedic I was less confident because I thought patients wouldn’t have faith in my skills helping them because I was too big. I wore a smile but underneath I was so self-conscious and ashamed.
“When I couldn’t carry my medical kits up a flight of stairs to a patient without feeling like I couldn’t breathe, it was time to change. How could I help others if I couldn’t take care of myself.
“My profession is what gave me the confidence to finally put myself first. I love my job, and I’m good at it. I love helping others and I love learning as medicine changes but I was risking my career and my passion. I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing.”
Katrina has remarried and has two step children and two children who are her own and juggles this with working between 60-80 hours a week. Initially, after surgery certain foods would make her feel sick but for Katrina, losing weight has changed her life in every aspect.
“I was having chronic lower back pain prior to surgery which was gone almost immediately. I have so much more energy. I can run and play with my kids. I can jump up into the ambulance with no problem and climb up stairs carrying medical kits without losing my breath,” she said.
“My confidence has skyrocketed. Airplane seats feel huge now, I feel healthier and happier.
“I feel like I am no longer hidden by the weight. I am myself. Everyone can now truly see me for who I am. I no longer worry about walking into a room and people only seeing my weight.
“Due to my surgery certain foods would make me feel sick. I can’t drink milk or eat anything high in sugar. They make me nauseated. It was a learning curve for my body to realise that these foods made it sick and to stop craving it, but I no longer crave them at all. I have no problems turning them down.
“Many people don’t even recognise me. People are amazed by my weight loss and are always interested to hear how it happened.”
Despite her incredible results, Katrina wants people considering weight loss surgery that it’s not an easy option.
“Look at all your options. Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix, it is not the easy way out,” she said.
“On the same note, don’t ever be ashamed of yourself for needing it. Do what you need to do to be happy and healthy.
“It’s a daunting task to lose weight, but it is possible. Find a support system. I found mine on Instagram and saw motivation and support every day.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/the_real_katrina