By Scott Thompson

THIS WOMAN didn’t realise she was ‘OBESE’ until she saw a picture of herself at a family wedding – leading her to lose THIRTEEN STONE in THIRTEEN MONTHS.

Executive assistant Kaity Petulla (36) from Howard Beach, New York, USA was completely oblivious to how much weight she’d piled on over the years even though she ate an ‘unlimited’ amount of calories every day.

With a daily routine of eating extra-large meals, particularly at night, and zero exercise, Kaity managed to tip the scales at a very heavy 26st 10lb and wore a dress size 30.

Kaity said losing weight has helped her to be so much more active than she ever was before. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petull

At that weight she wasn’t able to shop for clothes she really wanted, instead she had to go to specialist stores that stocked size 30 clothes.

Even though people made comments about her weight she still continued to ignore how bad things were.

That was until June 2018, when Kaity dressed up for a family wedding and she believed that she looked beautiful that day. As weddings go, lots of photos were taken to remember the celebration, then when Kaity saw the pictures of herself she was absolutely gobsmacked.

Kaity had to buy her clothes from the specialist plus size stores. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petulla

She realised she wasn’t just a little overweight, but obese. Suddenly Kaity started to think about her life and knew she wanted a long and healthy one. So, she started to make some drastic changes in her life.

Kaity tried a few different diet plans but she wasn’t getting the results she needed. So, in November 2018 she had a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). Through a combination of diet, exercise and her surgery she has now lost an incredible 12st 12lb in just 13 months. She now weighs 13st 12lb and wears a dress size 12 but she is still losing weight.

“The main factor for my weight gain was poor eating habits; I was constantly eating out and having large meals, often as my last meal before bed. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to,” Kaity said.

Kaity dramatic before and after shots after losing thirteen stone. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petulla

“There were lots of high calorie, high fat greasy meals like bacon, cheeseburgers, pizzas, fries, egg and cheese burgers, hash browns, salad drowning in dressing and loaded with cheese and numerous snacks through the day.

“To top it off I washed it all down with soda, but the funny thing was that I wouldn’t have sugar with my coffee because I thought it was just too much. It’s kind of comical really, looking back.

“It didn’t help that I had never exercised either. I took our dog for a walk sometimes but that was the only exercise I really did. At my heaviest I couldn’t walk into just any store for my clothes, I had to go to special plus size ones. Choices are very limited in both selection and availability for someone who is 26st 10lb.

Side shots shows Kaity at a dress size 30 before she lost weight. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petulla

“People would say ‘you have a pretty face for a big girl’ and once someone else said ‘you should really watch your weight’. But I ignored it, I was in a state of ignorance until I attended a family wedding.

“I’d dressed up for it and I thought I looked really good that day, that was until I saw the wedding photos. It’s not like I hadn’t seen photos of myself before, but these absolutely shocked me.

“I realised I was very overweight. No, not overweight, obese. I didn’t want to be like that for the rest of my life. I wanted a live a long and healthy life and I knew I needed to change.

Kaity decided to lose weight after being gobsmacked at how ‘obese’ she thought she looked in photos at a friends wedding. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petulla

“I tried such as meat free, high fat, low fat and diet pills and none of them were working out for me so in November 2018 I decided to have LSG weight loss surgery at New York Bariatric Group. It certainly isn’t the easy way out as many people think it is. You have to be physically and mentally prepared for it and it takes a lot of hard work and determination after the operation.

“My diet has changed drastically and I now nourish my body with low carb, low fat, low sugar and low sodium foods and all my meats are lean. Post-surgery my stomach is much smaller than it used to be so I measure out my meals and they usually weigh from 125g to 155g each. I also drink about 2.5 litres of water every day.

“Through doing these things consistently I have managed to lose 12st 12lb in just thirteen months and I’m still losing weight now. I’m currently at 13st 12lb.”

Kaity has lost thirteen stone in thirteen months. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petulla

Kaity said that her support network has been incredibly important in her weight loss journey. She said her husband Frank (39) has been incredibly supportive and he himself went on to have weight loss surgery and has already lost over 8st 8lb.

Although she is still losing weight and has been suffering with the effects of excess skin from extreme rapid weight loss, Kaity says that her life is completely unrecognisable to how it was before. She says the key to success are small steps built up over time and a little determination.

“I do have some excess skin in my stomach and abdomen area, as well as my thighs and arms. I have had some consultations to have these removed but I am still losing weight so that will be the next phase of my journey. I’ll continue to do my research and work hard until then,” Kaity said.

Kaity’s husband Frank has been her biggest supporter. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petulla

“My support network has been amazing. All of my friends and family have been really rooting for me. My husband Frank is my biggest supporter. He even went on to lose over 8st 8lb himself after having LSG surgery in February 2019. He has been simply amazing.

“People are shocked to see my transformation. To lose 12st 12lb in thirteen months can really change your appearance very quickly.

“My quality of life is off the charts now; since losing the weight I have been so much more active. I’ve had three holidays, I’ve been to twenty concerts and Broadway shows, and I’ve seen several sports games.

Her husband Frank even had weight loss surgery himself meaning they have gone through the journey together. MDWfeatures / Kaity Petulla

“I’m really making up for those times I couldn’t go. I was always confident before but now I just feel even more so. I simply love my second lease on life.

“Just start right now, today. Do not wait. Even if you just make the smallest change. Perhaps you can start by meal prepping instead of eating out.

“Maybe you can start by going for a short walk once a day and build this up over time. If you have been thinking about weight loss surgery as an option or would like more information, do some research and don’t be embarrassed about seeing your doctor. Again, this tool, accompanied with hard work and determination can be a life saver, it was for me.”

You can follow Kaity’s story on Instagram