By Martin Ruffell
THIS WOMAN would gorge on over three-thousand-calories a day until she was turned away from a theme park ride for being TOO FAT – now she’s unrecognisable.
Catering services manager, Alexis Green (28) from Chino, California, USA, struggled with her weight after leaving high school.
Years of partying and working in the hospitality industry, where food was abundant, left her a size 26 and weighing 23st 3lb.
Between 2014 and 2016 alone, Alexis gained over 7st, with her partying lifestyle and eagerness to eat whatever was in front of her getting out of control. She felt like she had no control over the person she was becoming, with her diet almost entirely consisting of fast food, sugary drinks and snacks.
The turning point for Alexis came whilst on a trip with friends to Universal Studios in Hollywood in the summer of 2016. After queuing for the Harry Potter ride for over an hour, a ride steward pulled her from the line and made her sit in a test seat to check that she would fit. With her friends standing in front of her to avoid onlookers staring, Alexis was told she was too big for the ride. Completely embarrassed and upset that her weight had spoilt the day for not only her but her friends too, she knew that she had to lose the weight.
Hating how she looked in dresses and being fed up of good-intentioned friends providing the backhanded compliment that she looked pretty regardless of her weight, Alexis explored the options for weight loss surgery.
Deciding on a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, in which a large part of the stomach is removed in order to reduce the patient’s appetite, Alexis was put on a gruelling pre-surgery plan that included a six-month medically watched diet, frequent nutrition classes and even visiting a psychologist to ensure she was mentally prepared for the changes to her body before the surgery was approved.
In March 2018, Alexis went under the knife and within a year had shrunk to just 14st and she now fits into a slim size 10. Since the surgery, Alexis has learnt to love herself again, as well as perform simpler tasks such as crossing her legs and standing up with ease. She is also now able to ride rollercoasters.
“I used to always be the ‘bigger’ girl growing up, but I gained most of my weight after high school and going into college,” Alexis said.
“I was constantly partying and eating anything and everything. It didn’t help that I worked at a restaurant with not the healthiest food either.
“I was the girl who used humour and bitchiness to cover up the fact that I was hurting inside and didn’t know how to get out of my own body.
“If I did not like you as a person or if I ever felt someone didn’t like me, I would go straight to being rude and bitchy to that person for no reason as a defence mechanism. I would not even have proof that they didn’t like me. I would just assume.
“The biggest comment, and I think I can speak for a lot of people who are in my position is the comment of ‘but you’re so pretty’.
“Okay yes, someone can be pretty but that has nothing to do with their weight. Whenever I heard that, I would just smile and say thank you but then it would stick with me internally.
“When I was at Universal Studios with my two best friends and we were about to go on the new Harry Potter ride. While we were standing in line an employee came up to have me sit in the tester seat to make sure I fit.
“Well low and behold I didn’t fit. My two best friends were pissed at the ride and didn’t want to go on anymore because of me.
“This is where I realised my size was a burden and causing others not to enjoy themselves because I physically couldn’t. I knew I had to change, and I did.”
A typical day of eating prior to Alexis’ weight loss consisted primarily of fast food, chips, fizzy drinks and chocolate totalling upwards of 3,000 calories. Alexis’ exercise regime was non-existent.
A typical day of eating now includes a protein shake with eggs, fruit or yoghurt at breakfast, a salad for lunch and either chicken or seafood with vegetables for dinner totalling 1,200 calories. She also goes to the gym most days and gets involved in exercise classes.
With the surgery being a success and Alexis successfully being able to keep the weight off, in August 2020, she underwent two further surgeries, a tummy tuck with micro liposuction and a breast lift in order to remove the excess skin that had appeared as a result of her dramatic weight loss.
Whilst she is happy with her dramatic results, she does admit that a strict diet and exercise routine is vital in maintaining her new figure.
“The hardest thing is going from a normal stomach to only being able to consume about four or five ounces at a time, and it changes everything,” said Alexis.
“In order to maintain your weight loss after surgery, you have to have a strict workout regimen. So between the gym and some group training classes, I have been able to stay on top of this.
“When most people see the before and after pictures, they cannot even believe it was me before.
“People saying ‘I can’t even believe that was you’ are my favourite compliments because it shows how hard I have worked to become who I am today.
“I still have that old Alexis in me, but now just new and improved with a much more positive outlook on life.
“Don’t get it twisted, I still have my cheat meals of fast food every once in a while, but it’s all about balance.
“Before I hated me and the way I looked. But going through this process has taught me that I can do anything that anybody else can.”