By Alyce Collins
THIS WOMAN used the excuse she was EATING FOR TWO during her pregnancy as she ate a whole tub of ice cream EVERY DAY, but she has since lost an incredible SEVENTEEN STONE.
Student ambassador Sofia Wyszynski (24) from New York City, USA, was distraught by her mother’s passing in 2009 which saw her turn to food, hoping to fill the void left behind.
Sofia would binge eat constantly as food became her comfort, but by her eighteenth birthday she weighed 21st 4lb. Sofia saw no way of changing her habits and only continued overeating to console her emotions, consuming up to 4,000 calories a day.
When she turned 20, Sofia fell pregnant unexpectedly, but as soon as she found out that she was pregnant Sofia knew she wanted to be a mother.
Despite hating her figure, Sofia’s pregnancy only made matters worse as she would eat an entire tub of ice cream every day, telling people it was because the ‘baby needed calcium’. This saw her weight increase to 29st 6lbs at her highest, when Sofia wore a UK size 30.
After giving birth to her son, Lucas, Sofia knew that things had gone on for too long and she needed to lose weight to be there for her son. In October 2016, a year after giving birth, Sofia underwent a gastric bypass surgery, and within the first three months she lost seven stone.
Sofia minimised her portions and began working out up to four times a week, eventually losing over 16 stone over the course of two years. This drastic weight loss led to Sofia requiring excess skin removal surgery to have 12 pounds of skin removed from her legs and stomach.
Now, Sofia weighs an astonishing 12st 8lb and wears a size small. Losing weight has helped Sofia to regain control over her health and her life as she has returned to education to gain an Associate degree.
“I first noticed that I was bigger than everyone else as early as eight years old as I had to get bigger sized uniforms, and couldn’t wear cute dresses,” said Sofia.
“I was very aware that I was bigger and that being overweight ran in my genes. Losing my mother was the hardest thing that ever happened to me. She got sick right around the same time I started struggling with food, and then, by the time I lost her, I was overeating.
“It’s hard to lose your mum at that age because you lose the female in your life who is meant to guide you from being a girl to a woman.
“While my mother was alive, she tried to help me control my weight. Her way of helping me was to minimise everything, so I felt like my food was very controlled as a child.
“When I lost her, I felt very empty and angry. Filling myself with comfort food, the thing that had always been kept from me, felt like the biggest comfort in the world, and in some way gave me a weird sense of control.
“I began to overeat, binging excessively, and constantly. By my eighteenth birthday, I weighed over 21 stone.
“At 20 I became pregnant with my son and in the pregnancy alone I gained seven stone, reaching my highest weight of 29 stone and six pounds.
“When I found out I was pregnant, I was equally happy as I was frightened. The second the test came back positive I knew I wanted to have a baby. I promised myself that I would do anything to protect my baby when they were born.
“During my pregnancy, my eating habits worsened. I took the whole ‘eating for two’ idea to an extreme. I would eat an entire 500ml tub of ice cream every day and say it was because the baby needed calcium.
“Just before my twenty-first birthday I gave birth, and looking at my son, the love of my life, I knew something had to change.”
In October 2016, a year after welcoming her son, Sofia had a gastric bypass as she became increasingly unhappy and uncomfortable with her figure. The surgery immediately helped Sofia lose weight as she dropped seven stone within three months.
Sofia put herself on a strict diet to restrict her calorie intake, prioritising protein instead. The more weight she lost, the more frequently Sofia could go to the gym and work out in ease.
“Having a gastric bypass was the easiest decision I ever made, and following my son, the best thing to ever happen. I knew I needed surgery to save my life, and to give my son everything he deserved,” said Sofia.
“While I was losing weight, I was on a strict diet which was restrictive in both calories and portion size., allowing myself 800 calories a day.
“Due to my surgery, I could only ingest a few ounces at a time, and I made sure those few ounces were dedicated to protein choices, so a lot of lean meat and dairy.
“I also added exercise, which at first, was very limited. I was so big that I could hardly move. But as I lost weight, I was able to begin both cardio and weight lifting regimens. I am still committed today to going to the gym three to four times a week and now I have between 1200-1500 calories a day.
“Losing weight made my confidence soar. Not only did I like the way my physical reflection in the mirror was changing, but I loved the inner parts of me that were finally able to push through and shine again.
“I had kept so many parts of myself suppressed, like the girl who loved to read and write, to speak up, to try new things. But now I am myself again and still learning how much deeper the real me goes every day.
“The only thing that held me back after my weight loss was my hanging skin. I was much more nervous for skin removal than for my gastric bypass, even though my bypass was much riskier. But the skin removal was necessary, as I was developing rashes in the folds of my skin.
“I had a combined lower and upper body surgery in July 2018, and it has truly completed my transformation. I love my results, and I can’t wait to see how much further I can go by sticking to my diet and continuing to go to the gym. I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore.
“I am now pursuing an Associate degree in Writing and Literature, as well as working as a College Ambassador. I hope to start a bachelor’s degree next spring, and even pursue a master’s after that.
“No matter how long you have given up for, you can change. It’s never too late to fix it, but you must start now.
“You have to want it and fight for it, but if you do, you can have it all. Find the thing that makes the difference, like my son did for me.”
See more of Sofia’s transformation by visiting @voilasofia.