By Alexander Greensmith
THIS WOMAN’s boyfriend asked her to STOP LOSING WEIGHT because it made him INSECURE – but she’s since ditched him and lost over SIX STONE.
Security Administrator, Kylie Hansen (27) from Taft, California, USA had been obese all her life despite being a competitive cheerleader and swimmer for 12 years.
Her addiction to large amounts of fast food led her to her biggest weight of 18st 5lb and UK size 22.
While she had always seen herself as the ‘big’ athlete throughout school, Kylie never paid attention to how unhealthy and overweight she was.
Kylie decided to lose weight in 2013 following a realisation that if she gained any more weight, it could cause health problems that could take over her life.
Kylie decided to go under-the-knife to have a vertical sleeve gastrectomy on July 1, 2013. Following a rigorous dietary and exercise plan for over two years, Kylie now weighs an incredible 12st 2lbs and a dress size of 14-16.
“I wasn’t educated on nutrition. I turned to food for everything. When I was sad, I ate. When I was happy, I ate. When we celebrated, we ate. Everything I did revolved around food,” she said.
“People don’t realise that food addiction is real and that’s exactly what I battled.
“I had a great life with lots of friends. I didn’t let my obesity take over the quality of my life, but I knew if I didn’t change something soon, I would eventually have health issues that could take over.
“In the surgery they remove a portion of your stomach and is shaped to resemble a banana. The surgery is a tool to help kickstart the weight loss.”
Kylie cut out her typical college kid eating habits of ramen, cereal and frozen meals. Long gone are her days of fast food and no exercise.
Reducing her daily calorie intake from 2,500 to 1,500, Kylie now starts her day with two eggs, one slice of toast and broccoli.
Snacks of superfood shakes and peanut butter apples keeps her going throughout her day, which includes at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
There is very little processed food on a given day as Kylie tucks into ground turkey with vegetables for lunch, and grilled chicken with sweet potato and beans for dinner.
“Waking up from surgery and being told ‘you can’t eat that’ was the hardest part for me. Our brains are still wired the same. If I had a food addiction prior to surgery, I still had that addiction after surgery,” she said.
“I vividly remember my first restaurant trip after the operation. I ordered clam chowder, and had to scoop out everything inside the soup except the broth. I remember crying because of how hard it was for me to not eat the foods I so badly wanted.
“My entire family was obese, and we all eventually had weight loss surgery. I’m proud to say that we’ve all made our health a priority and are living our best lives. It’s been great having each of them for support.
“My boyfriend at the time of my surgery was my first and we had been together for roughly four years. He was not supportive. He felt more insecure the more I lost weight and eventually asked me to stop losing weight.
“At one point, people started saying I was too small. But I didn’t let it bother me. I gradually gained the courage and confidence to leave the relationship and learned to only accept people in my life who bring the energy I needed and wanted.”
Kylie has since married Jacob (28), the couple used to be on the same swim team and have been friends since year nine. Kylie and her army-husband live together with their son Jameson (2).
“I struggled with becoming obsessive to the idea of being skinny – something I had never experienced before. I struggled with my addiction to food and had to ‘train’ my brain to want and crave foods that fuelled my body and not order the amount of food I was previously eating,” she said.
“I struggled when I reached my three-year post-op mark. I became addicted to losing weight and it was my only priority at the time. I was very self-conscious and still saw my 260lbs body in the mirror.
“But over six years on, the quality of my life is much better. I can do things I wasn’t able to do before. I love running and now turn to exercise as my stress reliever.
“I have learned that I need to be a good example for my son and future children. I have learned how mentally tough I am, and how much work it takes (mentally and physically) to be on a health journey.
“I have learned to love the struggle and the journey. I love my body and will continue to love it while I work on my goals.
“There are foods to eat that help you reach your goals, and there are foods that won’t. If I ‘splurge’ and eat a ‘bad food’ I will definitely notice a difference in how I feel and the scales go up.
“I have to be extra careful to decide if I ‘really’ want the food or if it is just a temporary feeling.
“Start with nutrition. Learn how to eat to fuel your body. If you feel you have a food addiction, work on that. Slowly start incorporating exercise.
“The journey has definitely helped mould me into the person I am today, and I am so glad I now prioritise my health and hope to inspire others to do the same.
“I had no idea how much my life would change after I grabbed my health by the horns.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/ky.hansen/