By Aimee Braniff Cree
THIS WOMAN revealed how she ballooned to 21-stone following a battle with depression but she claimed her life back by regaining her love for exercise.
Caroline Ehrich (23), a content creator known as @consistentlycaroline on TikTok from Kansas USA struggled with obesity and mental health when she left swimming following major burnout.
Caroline had enjoyed physical activity her whole life and when she left competitive swimming she kept her diet, but opted for a sedentary lifestyle.
Over the next five years, Caroline’s weight steadily climbed and she gained over ten stone.
Caroline began to view exercise as the enemy because she was still healing from the trauma sport took on her body.
As a result, she began to retreat from her loved ones and binge eat to cope with her depression.
It was not until she began Ketamine treatment for her depression that her life turned around and the psych intervention was needed to trace back in her head to where her relationship with exercise went wrong.
Once Caroline had her mind right she was strong enough to get her physical health back and through a lot of hard work, diet and exercise she lost over seven stone.
“I struggled with obesity and mental health after quitting premier swimming. I was a competitive athlete my entire life until I decided to quit after major burnout,” said Caroline.
“I kept the diet of a swimmer but switched to a very sedentary lifestyle. I gained over 150lbs through the course of about five-years.
“The trauma that years of an elite sport left me with ran deep and made me view exercise as the enemy.
“The more weight I gained the more I pulled away from loved ones and retreated to food- frequently binge eating in my car to cope with my depression.”
Before her lifestyle change Caroline was bullied and suffered agonising depression.
“It’s important to note that I was bullied pretty bad, so people would tell me that I was disgusting, or that boys would never want to date me, they’d call me a cow or a pig, they’d take photos of me to send in their group chats, and ironically I turned to food,” she said.
“Food was my comfort and the one thing I could control in this world I felt hated me.
“Before any of this I hated myself through and through. Both because of my body and because I was incredibly depressed.”
It was the treatment for her depression that kicked Carolines lifestyle change into gear.
“Over the years my mental and physical health continued to deteriorate until I needed a more serious treatment for depression called TMS (Temporal Magnetic Stimulation),” she said.
“This treatment uses a magnet that promotes neuroplasticity. This treatment saved my life and gave me the energy needed to make a radical change.
“I decided to embark on a wellness journey with the hopes of becoming my best self. I learned I did not need to wallow in my pain. I could change, I could overcome.
“So that’s what I set out to do.”
Caroline began with small steps like cutting out the junk food and walking just 15-minutes a day.
“At this point I started with small changes. Cut out fast food, which was incredibly difficult for me because it was my comfort, started walking for 15 minutes every day, and made an effort to eat better quality foods,” she said.
“I never thought I would fall in love with wellness or create an online platform as a wellness influencer.
“I lost about 70lbs with these small changes. I plateaued there for quite a while until I decided to do Ketamine Treatment for anxiety and depression.
“This treatment was the game changer. It allowed me to reframe everything in my mind and pinpoint exactly why I felt the way I did about food, exercise, my body, my health, and my life.
“I had incredible clarity through this treatment of what I needed to do to push past the plateau and also realised the greatest bit: exercise is not the enemy and never has been.
“I joined a gym a few weeks later. I stopped birth control, I learned so much about balancing your hormones, balancing your gut, the mind-body correlation and so much more.
“Not long after, I hit 100 lbs down and started growing my social media sharing my story. I am now the healthiest and happiest I have ever been, even at the peak of my swimming career.
“I want people to know it doesn’t take a lot to change your life. I want people to know that change is possible, change is good, and change is realistic.
“I hope that my story helps inspire someone else to take their health into their own hands. Start by making a few small changes that will benefit you in the future.
“What’s something small you can do that will help you in the future you? It could be waking up earlier, it could be cutting out fast food, it could be as simple as adding 15 minutes of daily movement and it will change your life.”
Now Caroline is the happiest and most confident she has ever been.
“I have so much more energy and a new joy and excitement for life. I have goals now, I have dreams, I have things I want to accomplish,” she said.
“Before I never really had any of that. Before it was just a battle to get through every day so I never really looked to the future, I figured it would be more of the same, I was so wrong.
“Everyday I am proud of myself for how hard I’ve worked and every day I remind myself of how far I’ve come.
“It would be lying if I said it was all self love and acceptance over here because reality is harder. Most days I love myself, truly and wholeheartedly.
“But there are still quite a few where I find old habits wanting to creep up, or days where I’m much harder on myself than I deserve.
“I am the healthiest and happiest I have ever been, but there will always be room for progress.
“Most people are shocked by how much weight I have lost. They say they barely recognise me or that I don’t look like myself anymore.”
Breakfast: Greek yogurt and a protein smoothie.
Lunch: Turkey and cheese lettuce wraps.
Dinner: Spaghetti squash marinara with turkey meatballs.