ANTWERP, BELGIUM: Sarah holding a pair of her old jeans. Mediadrumworld / Sarah Tyler

By Kate Harrold

WHEN THIS woman discovered she was too big to have kids she shed over twelve-stone – and now she looks like a completely different person.

Housekeeper, Sarah Tyler (40), from Toronto, Canada, but currently living in Antwerp, Belgium, struggled with self-esteem growing up. People would remark, ‘you’d have such a pretty face if you just lost weight.’

Sarah was always a happy person, yet she hid her shyness and struggles with dyslexia – a learning difficulty that affects the brains’ processing of language – behind the invisibility that weight gain provided her with.

ANTWERP, BELGIUM: Sarah before her weight loss. Mediadrumworld / Sarah Tyler

When Sarah was 35 years old, she underwent fertility treatment knowing that her weight was a contributing issue. Full of anger at her body, Sarah put on an additional 5st 10lb, due to comfort eating, in less than a year bringing her weight to 24st 8.5lb. It was at this point that Sarah knew things needed to change.

Sarah booked in to see her GP as she hoped to be referred for bariatric surgery but with a waiting list of up to two years, this was no quick fix. In the meantime, Sarah implemented a ketogenic diet – a high-fat, low-carb diet that encourages the body to burn fat.

In just one year, Sarah had lost 7st 12lb and quickly took herself off the bariatric surgery waiting list. Sarah has transformed from a UK size 38 to a 14 and has maintained her new weight of 13st 5lb.

ANTWERP, BELGIUM: Sarah before her weight loss. Mediadrumworld / Sarah Tyler

“I have struggled with my weight since my early teens and I had a learning disability called dyslexia when I was in school,” Sarah said.

“It always made me feel different and I learned early on that the largest person in the room is often the most invisible.

“After so many unsuccessful infertility treatments in later life, I decided to take a break. One day, it was like I woke up out of a fog. Everyday things were becoming a struggle and I knew things had to change.

ANTWERP, BELGIUM: Sarah before her weight loss. Mediadrumworld / Sarah Tyler

“I started cutting out bread, pasta, rice, and other obvious carbs and sugars. I now stay under twenty grams of carbs a day which puts my body in a ketogenic state. This means my body runs on ketones as opposed to glucose.

“This diet isn’t for everyone but I’ve never been healthier. I’m more outgoing. I have more confidence and a new zest for life. I have learned to truly love myself.”

Sarah’s family and friends have supported her throughout her entire weight loss journey – particularly partner, Roy (39).

ANTWERP, BELGIUM: Sarah now. Mediadrumworld / Sarah Tyler

“My family has always made me feel beautiful but they definitely encouraged me to stay healthy,” Sarah said.

“People say I look like a totally different person which I guess is a compliment. I’ve been told that there is a glow about me that I didn’t have before.

“I think it’s just that I have a renewed energy. I feel better at forty-years-old than I did at twenty.

ANTWERP, BELGIUM: Sarah is now proud of her physique. Mediadrumworld / Sarah Tyler

“I started dating my partner right at the beginning of my weight loss journey. He’s my number-one cheerleader and made me feel just as beautiful at 24st 8.5lb as he does today.

“My best advice would be to just start. There will always be a party or an upcoming holiday – but learning to stick with your plans through those situations is crucial to long-term success. Patience and consistency are really key.”