By Ben Wheeler
MEET the inspiring woman who has shed over half her body-weight after she wasn’t able to comfortably fit in her school desk.
Tess Fitzgerald, 21, from Boston, Massachusetts, whose weight dropped from just under twenty-five stone to a much healthier ten stone, believes her weight gain was the result of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which she was diagnosed with in her teens, coupled with overeating and a high carb diet.
PCOS is a set of symptoms that occur due to elevated levels of male hormones in females, these include menstrual issues, excess hair, acne and obesity.
Images show Tess’s dramatic transformation from her heaviest weight to the stunning woman she is today, as she detailed the moment that lead her to the decision to make a change.
“I decided to make a change after I went away to school and didn’t fit comfortably in the desks,” she said.
“It made me realise how large I truly was and that I wanted to change to live a long, happy and healthy life.
“When I was 14, I was diagnosed with PCOS, an endocrine disorder that caused the majority of my weight gain,” she said.
“I hit my highest weight of 347 pounds at the age of 18. I felt miserable, run down and like an outcast to society. I never wanted to talk to people even though I love conversation.
“I was probably eating at least 3200 calories a day and did little to no exercise, any exercise I did was very leisurely due to my weight.”
Tess, who has dropped an incredible 10 dress sizes from size 26 to size 6, then detailed what she has had to go through on her weight-loss journey, explaining how she has got her impressive results.
“I started group meeting at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to get approved for gastric sleeve surgery, which meant I had to cut out carbonated drinks and my high carb lifestyle,” she said.
“I’ve also had to dramatically decrease my portions, I used to sit down and eat an entire box of pasta, now I can’t even finish one cup full!
“In December 2015, when I was 19, I had the surgery and it was the best decision of my life. It’s changed my life without a doubt and given me a type of confidence that I used to envy.
“I now eat under 2000 calories a day and go to the gym anywhere between three and five times a week where I lift weight as well as doing yoga and hula hooping.
“I am truly proud of who I am and how far I have come. I feel so much more energised and excited about my life.”
Finally, Tess discussed the reactions she has received on her journey and how she overcame the doubters, before giving her own advice to anyone else looking to lose weight.
“The hardest thing about losing weight was trying to prove to people that I wouldn’t fail. There were so many people that put me down in the beginning, saying I couldn’t get to my desired goal. I just kept fighting and only listened to the positive people in my life,” said Tess.
“People are typically shocked when they see me now and ask me how I did it. They’re always really kind and tell me I was beautiful before and that I’m still beautiful now.
“I now not only want to inspire others who are on the same journey, but I want to help put an end to the discrimination of obesity in society.
“My biggest tip to anyone looking to lose weight is do not eat and drink at the same time, wait 20 minutes in between as drinking any type of liquid before eating can cause your stomach to stretch.
“Cut down on carbs such as bread and past and pick healthier options over processed foods because your body will thank you.
“It’s all trial and error, we aren’t perfect, and it takes time, but it’s never too late to change your life for the better!”