By Alyce Collins
AFTER having to be REMOVED from a roller coaster for being too heavy, this woman felt so mortified by her twenty-four stone frame that she decided to try a KETO lifestyle – and now she is HALF THE SIZE.
Office manager and graphic designer, Chelsey Bishop (35) from Tucson, Arizona, USA, saw her weight increase since the age of seven when she was already larger than all of her friends and was regularly teased because of it.
As she grew older, Chelsey was immersed in the typical American diet and she’d eat a donut for breakfast and cheeseburgers with fries and a fizzy drink at lunch. Having never thought about her nutrition, Chelsey admits that she would regularly eat approximately 4,000 calories in a day, taking her weight up to 24st 2lb and a UK size 32.
In December 2017, while on a holiday to Universal Studios, Chelsey was removed from a ride in front of the many people around her because the harness didn’t fit around her frame. Chelsey also felt humiliated when she couldn’t fit in booths at restaurants, she had to request seatbelt extenders and she couldn’t walk 50 feet without losing her breath.
Feeling ashamed of her weight and watching her clothes size constantly go up led Chelsey to try and make a change, and in February 2018, after seeing a few Facebook friends lose weight through a keto diet, she decided to try it herself.
Chelsey adapted her diet to fit with her hectic schedule by opting for a burger without the bun, choosing a side of vegetables rather than chips, and cutting out a lot of sugar. These simple changes have allowed Chelsey’s weight to drop to 13st, and she’s now a UK size 16, without needing any surgery along the way.
“I noticed I was becoming overweight at age seven. I was larger than all my friends and was teased regularly for it,” said Chelsey.
“My standard American diet routinely consisted of a blueberry scone or chocolate donut for breakfast with a large sugary caramel iced latte to wash it down, a cheeseburger with chips and fizzy drink for lunch, and a platter of tacos or chicken fried steak for dinner.
“Then probably a few snacks or sweets in between each meal as well. I would eat 4,000 calories per day.
“My diet combined with my sedentary lifestyle led to my weight going up. Growing up in a low-income household meant nutrition wasn’t something my family focused on or cared about, and those bad childhood eating habits became my bad adult eating habits. It was more about putting any possible food on the table for our family of five.
“I was humiliated on holiday at Universal Studios when I was removed from a ride for being too fat. I couldn’t fit in restaurant booths, I needed seatbelt extenders, snored terribly, and I couldn’t walk 50 feet without losing my breath.
“After losing my father to congestive heart failure and being diagnosed with high blood pressure and tachycardia, I decided to put myself on a relaxed keto and low carb diet in February 2018.
“My dad always talked about how sugar was ‘poison’, but I never took it to heart until I realised how much healthier my body became after eliminating sugar.
“Standing at only five-foot-three-inches tall and reaching my highest weight of over 24 stone at 33 years old, I finally reached a point where I felt like I would be lucky to live to see my forties. Death was on my doorstep and I was tired of being in denial about it.”
For Chelsey, who works two jobs, sticking to a strict keto diet would have been very difficult so she prefers to make healthier choices as she refers to ‘keto-fying’ her diet.
Since shedding half her body weight, Chelsey’s resting heart rate has decreased from 90 beats per minute to 60 and she’s no longer required to take blood pressure medication.
“I was on Facebook and came across a friend’s photo after losing seven stone with keto. A few weeks later, I saw a similar photo from another friend, and seeing two real people lose a significant amount of weight by doing the same thing inspired me to give it a try. I came home from work that same day and told my boyfriend I was going keto,” she said.
“Getting removed from a ride in front of dozens of people because the harness couldn’t latch over my fat body was so humiliating and I couldn’t fit in an airplane seat. My turning point was seeing my clothes size getting larger, being ashamed to be weighed and having anxiety over what excuse I could possibly give my doctor to justify my weight.
“I have two jobs and a busy schedule, so I’ve never stepped foot inside a gym, and I eat at restaurants probably 90 per cent of the time. I knew when I started that this routine wasn’t likely to change, so I learned how to adapt my diet to my lifestyle.
“I’ve learned the art of “keto-fying” meals anywhere I go. I order burgers without the bun and a side salad instead of chips, steak with steamed broccoli instead of potatoes, deli sandwiches without the bread or pizza toppings without the crust.
“Just by cutting carbohydrates and sugar in my diet, I’ve been able to lose nearly half my body weight in less than two years without exercise, purely diet alone.
“My doctor has taken me off blood pressure medication, I no longer snore, and my resting heart rate went from high nineties to sixties. My blood work is now the best it’s ever been in my entire life, even my cholesterol is amazing, which I love telling all the keto haters.
“I am a living example of how simply modifying your diet can completely change your health and your life.
“I am incredibly proud of myself. For over 30 years, I took my health for granted and I’m lucky that carrying around that much excess weight didn’t do more damage. Life is harder when you’re living it in such a large body, and I didn’t realise the impact it had on my life. I was in such denial.
“Now I feel amazing, I love seeing the shock on the faces of people who haven’t seen me in a while. There’s two phases of astonishment: phase one is seeing me at literally half my physical size, and phase two is from telling them it was from my keto diet, no gym or exercise.
“I always assumed I had too much weight to lose and I was at a point of hopelessness. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Substantial weight loss without surgery is possible regardless of your lifestyle.
“I made keto work for my lifestyle which gave me the ability to sustain it long-term. As long as it’s enjoyable and easy, committing to it will be enjoyable, and the commitment is what awards you the success.”
To see more of Chelsey’s transformation, visit her Instagram: www.instagram.com/ketohalfasser