By Liana Jacob
THIS WOMAN could barely walk from her bed to her bathroom because of her size but has since shed over HALF HER BODYWEIGHT and underwent a tummy tuck – but it didn’t exactly go to plan and she has been left with a SWOLLEN STOMACH that she would trade for excess skin any day.
Business owner and mum, Tiffany Elizabeth (27), from Florida, USA, grew up in a household that didn’t have much understanding about nutrition and eating healthy and her parents would feed her unhealthy meals, such as microwave food, spaghetti, fast food and pizza.
At her peak weight of 16st 6Ib and UK size 22, she would get teased by kids during high school who would call her ‘fat’ and she felt miserable. She would sleep for over 12 hours a day and struggled to walk due to her weight.
One day she walked towards her bathroom from her bed, which was 10 feet away, and her feet were in unbearable pain that she decided to make a drastic change to get her life on track. She joined a gym where she works out five-days-a-week and instead of eating fast food or readymade meals, she cooks healthy meals.
She has since shrunk to a healthy 9st 11Ib and a UK size eight, but due to the drastic change in her weight, she decided to remove her excess skin in February 2019. However, the process left her with a swelling tummy that has made her feel insecure.
She is assured that the swelling will go down with time, so she is now trying to raise awareness of the process of a tummy tuck and has remained very proud of her journey and wouldn’t change her weight loss, as it has made her feel like a better parent to her children, Landon (8) and Kiara (4).
“My parents didn’t focus on nutrition at all. Because they had six kids, the name of the game was quick fix meals; things like freezer meals, spaghetti, fast food, pizza, etc,” Tiffany said.
“I also grew up with obese parents and my mother was constantly trying to diet which led me to dieting at eight-years-old with her.
“My parents didn’t truly understand the meaning of healthy food or the importance of ingredients of what we were eating.
“I was extremely unhappy with myself physically and mentally. I was tired twenty-four-seven and slept more than twelve-hours-a-night as well as taking a nap just to make it through the day. I was a very miserable person.
“I didn’t ever deal with any negative comments as an adult only as a child. When I was little the kids in school would say I was fat and make extremely hurtful comments.
“I remember walking to the bathroom when I woke up one morning, the bathroom was only about ten-feet from my bed and my feet hurt so bad.
“I remember thinking to myself that morning, ‘Tiffany, you are twenty-four-years-old, and it hurts to walk, you have to change something now’.
“My life is completely different now in every aspect I can think of; I go to the gym at least five-days-a-week, I shop at healthy food shops and look at every product I buy and what’s in it.
“I used to eat fast food once-a-day minimum, I mostly cook at home now. I also have two big Instagram accounts that I use to focus on helping others start their weight loss journeys now.
“I had my tummy tuck on February 18, 2019. I wish I could tell you I feel better but as of now, I don’t. My body didn’t take the surgery well and I’m extremely swollen.
“I would trade the loose skin for a giant bulge in my belly. I’m not happy right now with my decision but I’m hoping as the months go by, it will get better.
“I’m a unicorn apparently. What’s happening with my swelling is not the norm, but my life doesn’t like to go as planned always.”
Despite the surgery going wrong, Tiffany feels so much better about her body and how she looks and says that her weight loss has made her more energetic and a better mum.
“Overall, I feel so much better. I am so happy that I made the decision to fight for me. You have to be selfish sometimes to take proper care of yourself and I think as a parent that can be so hard when your focus is your children,” she said.
“I had to tell myself that I can’t put one-hundred percent of my energy on my children, I have to put some on myself so I can do a better job as a parent.
“I went gluten free, stopped eating cheese, stopped drinking cream in my office and mostly dairy free. I pay attention to my sodium intake and watch the ingredients in my food.
“I would say at some points you just want it to be over with, you want to just throw the towel in and say forget it.
“You want to be able to just eat whatever you want but it’s realising that that’s not how it works. In order to have the body you want; you have to eat for that body.
“Just eating whatever you want all the time is not going to get you there. You need self-control and discipline, but it’s so hard sometimes.
“People say I look like a completely different person. It’s funny because people constantly comment on my photos saying, ‘not the same person’. I’ve started to take it as a compliment.
“You have to just jump in. There’s no magic time, jump in. Make a separate weight loss Instagram account and flood it with motivational accounts of people who are on the same journey as you. This was huge for me.”