By Scott Thompson
THIS WOMAN was DUMPED by her BF after doctors told her she was TOO FAT TO CONCEIVE – but she has since lost NINE dress sizes in just ONE YEAR and looks UNRECOGNISABLE.
Financial service analyst, Alida Dreyer (27) from Sydney, Australia, was overweight as a young child which lead to severe bullying at school so she skived classes for months at a time.
Although Alida has a disposition to weight gain due to genetics and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) at 13, she admits she had all the tools needed to lose weight but refused to use them because she was addicted to food.
Alida was depressed from age 13, she hated herself, she was self-harming and had suicidal thoughts. With low self-esteem and self-worth, she started being the joke of the crowd and worried that no one could ever love her, so she became a people pleaser by saying yes to everything.
Subjected to a slew of remarks from people such as ‘Thump thump thump’, ‘You’ve a pretty face for a fat girl’ and ‘You’d be pretty if you lost weight’ Alida was mortified and hid away crying in the bathroom.
At 22st 11lb Alida was sweating all the time, she couldn’t squeeze into plane seats and needed the belt extenders. She couldn’t walk very far without crippling calves and painful chafing and being a dress size 26, none of the clothes she wanted to wear would fit.
Alida didn’t start dating until she was 18 and had her first boyfriend at 20 but was too embarrassed to be with him intimately or naked. At 23 she was ready to have a baby, but health professionals told her she was too fat to conceive. A month later her relationship ended and Alida knew she needed to change her life.
Through a combination of diet and exercise, Alida managed to drop 6st 4lb and lost another 5st 12lb through vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) surgery. In total she lost 12st 2lb within just one year and now fits a UK dress size 8.
“I have always been the ‘big girl’ ever since I can remember. Food was my vice and with it came a passion for cooking and baking. I chose a career in counselling to help other people so I could avoid facing my own problems, having suffered anxiety and depression since I was 13. Being overweight lead to extreme bullying in school and it got so bad I didn’t attend for up to three months at a time.” Alida said.
“Whilst I could blame having ‘fat genes’ from both sides of my family or PCOS from aged 13, I was still given the tools to live a lifestyle that would prevent weight gain and chose not to use them. It was my addiction to food that lead to my previous weight. This addiction was fuelled by a difficult relationship with my mother who reminded me I was fat and shouldn’t be eating the foods I was. I felt like the only thing I could control in my life was the food I put in my mouth, so to have some control and spite others, I ate what I wanted and when I wanted. Any emotion I felt, I combatted by eating. It was a vicious cycle.
“At my largest I was 22st 11lb and wore a dress size 26. In a day I ate about 3,500 calories which consisted of four slices of toast loaded with butter and vegemite for breakfast with two large coffees and sugar, at lunch I ate large portions of sushi with macaroni and cheese, at dinner I’d have pizza and through the day I’d snack on large bags of crisps, hot chips and biscuit shapes and washed it all down with high sugar cordial and fruit juice.
“Imagine weighing that much and trying to squeeze into an airplane seat, I had to ask for the belt extender and the arm rests dug so deeply into my thighs they left bruises. Oh, and I was judged by the air hostess. I couldn’t even walk 100m without my calves cramping and getting chafing so bad I bled. I was always sweating on hot Australian summer days and being intimate was impossible because your body can’t move the way it should.
“Besides my own family calling me fat all the time, other people said things like ‘You have a pretty face for a fat girl’ and ‘You’d be pretty if you lost weight’ and people sometimes made ‘Thump, thump, thump’ noises behind me. I was horrified and ran to the bathroom crying.
“I hated myself, I was self-harming, I thought about suicide. I didn’t want to live. I learnt to act confident and happy by being the person who constantly makes jokes. I felt like no one could love me the way I looked so I became the ‘yes girl’ who agreed to everything. I hated my body and covered it with loose clothing. I wore low cut tops to try and distract people away from looking at my body.
“Since I was six years old, I always wanted to be a mother. When I was 23, I was trying to have a baby and was told that I would not be able to conceive at the size I was. A month later my toxic relationship ended, and my world came crashing down. I was stripped to the absolute core and forced to take a look at myself. From that day on I decided I had to learn to love myself.
“I lost the first 6st 4lb through diet and exercise and lost the rest through VSG and now I weigh 10st 10lb. Eating a vegan diet helps me to maintain my weight and on an average day now for breakfast I’ll eat tofu with mushrooms on high protein bread with coffee and soy milk, lunch might be a chickpea curry with quinoa and steamed vegetables, dinner might be vegan spaghetti bolognaise. If I snack, I’ll have something like watermelon, strawberries or blueberries, Vitawheats with peanut butter or one square of vegan chocolate with a banana.”
Post weight loss Alida has had to deal with excess skin which hung low and ripped and even became infected. She had to have three skin removal surgeries to address this.
Alida now feels on top of the world and people refuse to believe that the big girl in the photos are even her.
“I had so much loose skin that I was getting infections from it because it ripped and tore. My breasts went from a 22JJ to a 10E, of which was all loose skin. My stomach hung so low that it came out of the bottom of my undies. My thigh skin was so bad I couldn’t wear pants because the skin got caught when I walked which made it rip. It made exercise impossible. I have had three long and painful skin removals. One of which was 15 hours long,” Alida said.
“I’ve lost more friends these last few years than in my entire life. As I started to lose weight and love myself, I found my self-worth and I realised I was worth more than people gave me credit for. I started saying no to people, started to grow a backbone and standing up for myself and friends moved away from me.
“Most people are kind about my weight loss they tell me I’m an inspiration and they congratulate me for losing so much. Some people even tell me it can’t be me in the before picture. They even tell me I must be lying, and it can’t be real.
“I love myself sick now! I am strong, I am confident, and I am worthy. I believe that I’m worthy to live a life that I want to live, a life that I am proud of. When I look into the mirror now, I smile. I love each of my scars, they tell a different story of strength and of overcoming my demons.
“I have chosen to openly share my non-filtered life through Instagram which isn’t always easy, but I do it in hopes to even just help one person who is in the same place I was a few years ago. I thrive through helping other young people make positive steps in their life. I encourage people to please message me if they need someone to help them get started or just someone to talk to.”
You can follow Alida’s journey on Instagram