By Rebecca Drew
MEET the curvaceous woman who has lost a staggering nine-and-a-half stone in less than a year despite living with painful rheumatoid arthritis after spending years in denial about her weight and being disgusted by her reflection in the mirror.
Heavy duty equipment operator, Jamie Mckersie (27) from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, never believed she was heavy as she could still do things that ‘skinny’ people did, hiding her secret insecurities with a confident persona, in reality, Jamie was disgusted by how she looked and hated every item of clothing she tried on. At 25st 5lbs and a UK size 26, Jamie’s body would ache all over just walking up a few steps, so she decided to have gastric sleeve surgery to finally get her happiness back.
Part way through her weight loss journey, Jamie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but she still works out three times a week, currently doing 12,000 steps per day with an aim of reaching 20,000 once she is in remission from the painful condition. She’s now a happier, healthier 15st 13lbs and a UK size 14.
“I was disgusted and hated how I looked in the mirror and everything I put on. I had no self-esteem but I knew how to put a face on to look confident but inside I felt like that little girl sitting in the corner with my knees to my chest hiding my face so no one would look at me,” she said.
“I woke up one morning and just had enough because I wasn’t happy anymore and was always so angry because I didn’t like who I was, and I lost some good people in my life for it.
“I was tired of being sore after walking just a couple stairs, saying I have plans instead of going for a hike with friends because I knew I wouldn’t make it or slow them down. I wanted to be healthy again and most of all get my happiness back.
“I decided to get a gastric sleeve. I chose this treatment because it’s not permanent you can re-stretch your stomach and put weight back on and you will only lose so much and the rest is up to you. I still wanted the feeling of achievement of losing weight.
“Losing weight has changed my life in so many ways that not enough words can explain the feeling. I’m so incredibly happy again and proud of who I am and being that confident person I was meant to be.
“I want to always be a curvy woman but this time I’m proud of it. I can walk in a room with my head up and smile and actually mean it and that feeling alone says it all.”
Ever since her operation, Jamie has had to re-educate herself about food and completely change her portion sizes because she can only eat around half a cup of food at a time. For a month after the surgery Jamie had to live off of nothing but Ensure shakes – something she found difficult.
Jamie is still working towards her goal weight of 14st 4lbs and now hopes to be a support for other people struggling with their weight and says that her Instagram is always open if people need advice.
“I had to relearn food again and the portion sizes to eat and which foods help me stay energised because I can only eat half to three quarters of a cup of food at a time. Exercise was a hard one because I lost a big hunk of weight and was working out hard but became in pain which lead to be being diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis,” explained Jamie.
“This has changed my working out habits a little until I am in remission so I do a lot of walking and swimming but no weight lifting.
“The hardest thing about my weight loss was having to drink only ensures for thirty days. That was just nasty and still until this day eleven months later I still struggle with just the smell never mind trying to drink one.
“I did have a couple hiccups with reintroducing food to my body but in time I was able to eat those things again. I had to retrain myself to eat again which was interesting but a huge learning experience.
“People say I have my glow back and comment on how incredibly happy I look again and say they didn’t realise how much of a struggle I was having.
“The hardest part about weight loss is that first step in trying to do it and having a support system and if you don’t have one, message me on Instagram and I’ll be your support.
“No one is ever alone in doing this, people will try to push you down and say you can’t do it but that’s not true, you can be anything or do anything you want, you yourself just have to believe in it and anything will happen.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/jamies_changinglife