By Rebecca Drew
MEET the stunning woman who lost almost six-stone after having weight loss surgery when she was just SIXTEEN-YEARS-OLD after first going on a diet when she was just seven.
Growing up, actress, performer and model, Sabrina Monique (21) from White Plains, New York, USA, had always been overweight but she didn’t let this stop her from pursuing an active lifestyle and her musical theatre dreams. As a child she danced eight different styles a week, played lacrosse and did cheerleading, despite this, she continued to put on weight which prevented her being cast for leading roles.
Sabrina was bullied at school for her size and her peers would call her a ‘waddling whale’. She tried every diet going from Jenny Craig and Atkins to Slim Fast and the Paleo diet. At seven years old, Sabrina’s mum put her on the Weight Watchers diet and she even tried counselling and hypnosis in a bid to shed the pounds.
After many hospital tests, Sabrina found out at 13 she had a resistance to insulin which went some way in explaining her weight. In July 2013 and a UK size 26 and 16st 6lbs, Sabrina underwent bariatric surgery and is now a fit and healthy 9st 9lbs and a UK size 10 and is living out her dreams in New York City.
“Going to school was always an issue for me. I had to switch elementary schools twice due to bullying, but eventually as the kids got older the bullying got worse especially when I started high school,” she said.
“I admit that I rarely went to school. My grades were constantly suffering due to my absence but that was no comparison to the suffering I felt while in the hallways, cafeteria, or in class.
“I fell into periods of deep depression and would spend most of my days at school in the nurse’s office avoiding everyone or phoning to go home. My only outlet was music, my love and passion for music and musical theatre is the only reason I would not be home-schooled because when it was player season I felt at least that I had something to enjoy.
“However, due to my size I was never properly cast and always played the roles outside my type, always falling in comparison to the other leading ladies more softer to the eye, though I could sing and dance at higher levels even at when my weight was more than 190 pounds.
“On July 22, 2013 I underwent bariatric gastric sleeve surgery.”
Since her surgery, Sabrina’s confidence has improved, and she doesn’t suffer with social anxiety any more. Sabrina is now training in performing arts at university and wants to spread awareness about paediatric weight loss surgery and says surgery is not an easy option.
“My body ate me alive. If it was not for this surgery, I would not be on this earth today,” she added.
“Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix. Weight loss surgery is a tool which aids in your weight loss as you make major diet and lifestyle changes that you must practice for the rest of your life. There is a post-operative eating regime that extends for almost three months after surgery where you train your stomach and body to digest and eat (again) properly.
“My happiness has grown and it’s like I’ve transformed into a new person. I admit most of my mental health issues dissipated with my weight loss.
“I’ve seen the value of life, and I’ve began to live it.
“Being one of the nation’s youngest bariatric weight loss patients, I hope to help inspire those who have or are currently struggling the way I did.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/sabrinamoniquenyc