By Alyce Collins
MOTHER who gorged on McDonald’s EVERY DAY has dropped an impressive TEN dress sizes since halving her twenty-two stone frame – which she admits made her a ‘shell of a mum’.
Assembly technician, Angela Gerzanics (35) from Michigan, USA, used food to make herself feel better since she was a young child and it soon became her coping mechanism. At just nine years old, Angela’s diet wasn’t controlled and she became overweight.
From then on, nothing changed for Angela who resultantly lived most of her life morbidly obese. Throughout the years, food was a constant source of happiness for Angela, providing her with comfort when things got difficult. In her eyes, food was the only thing that wouldn’t let her down.
However, as happy as food made Angela, she felt miserable about her body and the way she looked. She was constantly ashamed of the body she felt trapped inside of but Angela simply came to terms with what her life had become and accepted that living a restricted and unhappy life was how she was destined to be.
After being a stay at home mum for many years, when she started a new job in 2014, Angela knew she needed to take care of her health, but her diet was still unhealthy. She went to the McDonald’s drive thru every day on her way home from work, before eating dinner at home.
Although she could pretend to be happy for all those years, it was in 2015 when Angela realised that if she carried on the way she was, her sons, Anthony (15) and Justin (7) would have to grow up without her. She admits that she became a shell of a mum who had to sit on the side lines rather than take part in activities with them.
In August 2016 Angela opted to have a gastric band fitted which helped her lose more than 10 stone, taking her from 22st 6lb to now 11st 7lb. Angela used to wear UK size 32 clothes, which even then was a tight fit, but now she is a much happier UK 12 – even fitting in some teen sizes.
“From just nine years old, I learned to use food to cope and make myself feel better and that was when my weight spiralled out of control,” said Angela.
“My childhood was troubled, but food was one of the only constants in my life. When I ate, I felt good, it gave me comfort and happiness.
“I lived my entire life being morbidly obese and one hundred per cent dependent on that good feeling I got from food. I felt like food was the only thing there for me and never let me down.
“Before I lost weight, I felt awful about myself. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and completely trapped in my body. I had given up and just came to terms that this was how my life was supposed to be. I kind of accepted it and pretended to be happy on the outside.
“I decided to make a drastic change and take control of my health. I have two kids who need me – and they need all of me, not just a shell of a mum. They needed me to heal mentally, physically, and emotionally. Of course, I was always there for them, but I knew I could do better as their mum, so I did.”
Since losing 10st 8lb, Angela’s self-confidence has grown emphatically and now she even enjoys running around with her children in the park – something she never believed would be possible.
Angela says that her body may never look ‘perfect’, but she has so much appreciation for what her body has been through, and the added bonus of being able to walk into any shop and know they cater to her size is an added bonus.
“I was a stay at home mum for a few years but then I got a job with great health benefits. I used those medical benefits to have weight loss surgery. On August 24, 2016 I had gastric sleeve surgery and it forever changed my life. It was the beginning of my healing,” said Angela.
“My diet before weight loss surgery was McDonald’s drive thru on my way home from work and everything from the freezer section in the supermarket. The more processed the better, and I was constantly having lots of sweets and sugary drinks.
“Now when me and my family go grocery shopping, we spend most of our time shopping the fresh produce, meat and dairy. We still consume some packaged foods, but we rarely go to fast food places, but it slips in every now and then.
“Now I do my best to try to only eat whole foods and limit how much processed food I eat. I am far from perfect and sometimes I indulge, but I no longer eat to comfort my feelings, I eat because I want to, because it tastes good, not to suppress my feelings.
“I drink almost no sugary drinks anymore, mostly sticking to water or black coffee. I make it a point to drink no less than two litres of water a day, whereas before I would be lucky to get that much water in a week.
“Losing weight has completely changed my life, not just for myself but for my family. I can work a full shift at work now and take my kids to the park and run around all afternoon with them. I can fit on rides and fully enjoy being out with my boys. I’m no longer the mum sitting on the side watching them.
“I feel so confident now after losing the weight. My body will never be perfect, but it doesn’t matter to me. Being able to walk into any shop and buy what I want off the racks is amazing. It’s the most freeing feeling ever. I was only able to shop at a few select shops before.
“I finally love my body and my flaws. I have never been so at peace with myself than I am now. I used to be a tight size 32 and now I am a size 12! I can even shop in the teen section for some things.
“The hardest part for me was the mental battle. I love healthy food, but it was hard to switch my mindset to eat to live, not live to eat. Food controlled me for so long, so it was hard to take back control.
“People are genuinely shocked at how much weight I’ve lost. They are so happy for me and I have some great support. People who have known me my whole life still can’t believe I was that big. It shocks us all – myself included – that I lived that way for so long.”
To see more, visit www.instagram.com/gastric_sleeve_ang