By Alyce Collins
AFTER shedding nearly TEN STONE to drop an incredible SEVEN dress sizes and going through a ‘break-up’ with food, this woman HATES being called ‘skinny’ as she believes no one would dare call her ‘FATTY’ at her former weight.
Jewellery shop manager, Jessica Kirley (31) from Adelaide, Australia, admits that she has been overweight since she was just two years old, with one of her childhood notebooks listing her favourite foods as chips, cake and biscuits.
When she was growing up, Jessica was always bigger, so she didn’t know any different. She was used to being limited by her weight, such as being unable to buy boots during winter because her calves wouldn’t fit, not being able to put the tray table down during a flight and carrying a bag rather than putting it over her shoulder as it wouldn’t fit over her arms.
Jessica would wake up feeling exhausted and she was drinking up to four cups of coffee every day just to get through the day. Meals didn’t fill Jessica up which led her to snack constantly, and her daily requirements made her spend £15 a day on coffee and snacks.
Jessica joined the gym in May 2017 to better her lifestyle, starting with two workouts a week and several attempts at dieting, but she would still consume carbs and dairy for every meal in order to feel full. In December 2017, Jessica woke up feeling tired, hungry, swollen and she was fed up of her constant cravings. Her weight hadn’t changed since joining the gym, so Jessica opted for a gastric sleeve surgery to minimize her increasing appetite.
Before surgery, Jessica weighed 22st 3lb, and wore a UK size 24. However, since her surgery, she has managed to up her workouts to 90-minutes, five times a week, walking over 10,000 steps a day and a healthier diet with less carbs and no dairy. Jessica is now a happier 12st 9lb after losing 9st 4lb, and she now wears a UK size 10.
Jessica is thankful that her friends never commented on her larger weight, however, now she dislikes the double standard of people calling her ‘skinny mini’ because they wouldn’t have referred to her by her weight when she was larger.
“I have always been overweight, even as a two-year-old,” said Jessica.
“I found a baby book that my mum kept to write down my milestones. One of the subjects was ‘favourite foods’ and I wrote that my favourite foods were chips, cakes and biscuits. I wasn’t even out of nappies and that was the diet I was eating.
“We weren’t fed nutritious and balanced meals growing up. Almost every meal was served with bread, rice, pasta or mashed potato. No one else in my family was overweight so no one questioned the family’s diet as a factor.
“Growing up, I believed I was happy and my weight didn’t bother me. I’ve always been big, so there were just things that became normal to me and never affected my self-esteem. For example, I could never buy boots in winter because my calves were too big, but it’s been like that all my life, so it never bothered me.
“I could never put the tray table down on flights, so I’ve always eaten my meals on my lap when flying. I could never put my handbag over my shoulder because my arms were too wide to fit through the straps and I always had to get my jewellery re-sized.
“By 2017, I was travelling a lot for work and I was waking up exhausted. I was tired before my day even began. I was drinking up to four coffees a day to get me through, meals weren’t filling me up and I was snacking so much. It was costing me a fortune in food to get through a day and I asked myself, how long can I keep living like this?
“I was only 29 and that’s when I thought I didn’t want my weight to stop me from living. I didn’t want to feel this way anymore.
“I started by joining a gym and I went for almost a year. I was on again, off again dieting and then I decided to have gastric sleeve surgery as I was never feeling full.
“I had my gastric sleeve operation and made a commitment to myself that if I was going to do this, I wasn’t going on a diet; I was going to change my lifestyle.
“I would plateau a lot and sometimes I craved the number on the scales. It was hard because I was putting in so much effort; it’s hard when the scales didn’t show this. I had to learn to be patient and relax. I had to change my mindset, which was the hardest part.
“I went from exercising twice a week to five times a week. My exercise was 10 minutes on various cardio machines for up to one hour. I now do group personal training, weight training, cardio classes and PT sessions.
“I can now run on the treadmill instead of just walking. My personal trainers work close with me to keep me focused and driven, which I love. I can now deadlift 60kg and leg press 160kg. These things were dreams that I made a reality.”
Before losing weight, Jessica walked less than 4,000 steps a day and had carbs with each meal and lots of dairy but drank very little water. Now, Jessica has fewer carbs at breakfast and lunch, vegetables for dinner and no diary. She also drinks at least three litres of water a day
Jessica loves her new figure and is proud to have achieved such results in just 14 months. Jessica’s friends have always supported her and never made her feel bad for her previous weight, but she admits that she hates being called ‘skinny’ because people would have never referred to her as ‘fatty’ beforehand.
“I’m a foodie, I love everything about food, cooking it, eating it, the smell, the taste and how it was perfectly placed on my plate. Before losing weight, I was worried that I was going to be miserable for the rest of my life and I’d never enjoy food again,” said Jessica.
“What I didn’t know is that food is like breaking up with a guy. I thought I would never find a guy as good as him again, then found one that’s better than the first guy. I broke up with food, I got out of that toxic relationship with food, then I found a better relationship with food.
“My friends are extremely supportive, and they don’t comment on my weight because it’s just who I am. They were forever complimenting me, and that meant so much to me when I felt defeated by the number on the scales.
“I had a lot of people start calling me ‘skinny mini’ and I hated that. No one would say ‘hey fatty’ before, so why people thought it was ok to call me that after I lost weight really annoyed me.
“I failed to lose weight so many times because I was trying to lose weight for my family, my partner, and my kids. I was never dieting because I wanted to lose weight for me. Once you know why you’re doing it, work with someone to come up with a plan on how you can do it. If you have a diet plan and you can’t see yourself doing that for the rest of your life, then it’s unrealistic.”
To see more, visit https://www.instagram.com/jessknutrition/