“I knew to even have a future, I had to change.”
A 34-year-old, obese, Australian woman has shed 82 kilos on a vegan diet after binge eating and a fast-food addition made her tip the scales at 167kg and reach a size 26 in clothing.
Kirsty Young, from Geelong, Victoria, has also reversed her weight related health complications including aching joints and high sugar levels as well as overcome feelings of low self-esteem, “self-shame and the constant unhappiness that comes with it.”
Recounting her weight loss journey, Young, who works as a Manager Census 2021 at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said her weight started ballooning soon after graduation because of her addiction to eating at McDonald’s or KFC while returning home from work.
“It got out of control when I graduated from university and got a desk job,” Daily Mail reports.” I was sitting for eight or more hours a day, and I’d secretly binge on fast food when I wasn’t in a good headspace.”
She added: “On my bad days I would go through several drive-thrus and order multiple takeaway meals. I was so ashamed of myself, I’d eat it all in secret.”
Young admitted she gained a whopping 40 kg within a year of graduating, and this weight gain led to a vicious cycle of more emotional binge eating as she became increasingly self-conscious of her growing size.
Soon, Young started having health issues and in her late 20’s, she was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, aching joints, and other complications.
“I couldn’t even comfortably fit into a train seat on my morning commute. I switched to part time work because I couldn’t keep up with life. I carried a lot of self-shame and the constant unhappiness that comes with it,” Young said.
However, a will to change motivated Young to swap her high calorie fast-food binges for a healthy vegan diet, rich in nutritious fresh fruits, vegetables and wholesome carbs and she also opted for a gastric sleeve surgery in August, 2016, to help her shed the excess weight.
“I knew to even have a future, I had to change,” Young said.
While the surgery has removed 80% of her stomach, Young clarified that “it doesn’t magically fix everything.”
“You can still eat excessive calories, it doesn’t make you exercise or heal your head and the reasons you became morbidly obese in the first place,” she added.
Apart from eating a wholesome vegan diet, Young started working out attending Zumba classes, and personal training, as well as hiking to achieve her dramatic transformation. Young now weighs a svelte 85kg, size 12 frame.
She states that her new diet has also improved her skin, mental, and emotional health.
“I love food now, more than ever, but in a much healthier way,” Young concluded.
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