A woman who was once cruelly fat shamed by a teacher in front of her entire class is unrecognisable after losing 68kg and dropping 10 dress sizes.
Michelle Salvatore reached her heaviest weight of 124kg two years ago with the 26-year-old then wearing size 26-28 clothing.
Michelle reveals she had been overweight for much of her life after being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome when she was just 10 years old.
She was bullied by kids at school and was humiliated when a teacher once told her in front of the entire class to "stop eating pizza and join a gym".
Now, Michelle weighs 56kg and looks unrecognisable from her high school days and is much more confident.
"I was always an average sized child, but began to gain weight at the age of nine after very early puberty," Michelle said.
"I always knew I had to lose weight but whatever I did, it never worked. No diet or exercise regime had any impact on me, no matter how hard I tried.
"I was bullied throughout my schooling years due to my size, but the worst time was when a teacher made a cruel comment in front of the entire class.
"I was in total shock. I went home that day and just burst out crying, I couldn’t believe what had happened.
"It was bad enough that my classmates would make mean comments, but to have a teacher say that to me was just horrible. It was traumatising.”
Michelle says she had a massive sweet tooth and labelled herself a "chocoholic", adding she could eat an entire block in one sitting.
She shared that she used to snack on sweets and other unhealthy foods like chips throughout the day.
"After trying and failing each time to lose weight with different diets and exercise regimes, eventually I’d always just give up," Michelle said. "I thought I was destined to be fat and just accepted it. I had no hope.
After trying everything she could to lose the weight, she decided to take a doctor's advice and have gastric bypass surgery in a last-ditch attempt to lose weight.
In February 2018, she went under the knife for the procedure which decreases the size of a person's stomach and therefore makes them fuller faster.
"I had tried loads of different diets and even had a personal trainer, but nothing helped," she said.
"I’d always lose a little, plateau and then regain it all plus more. I felt hopeless.
"The turning point was when I saw a highly regarded endocrinologist for my PCOS, and he explained that that was the root of my weight gain and was halting me from losing weight.
"He suggested weight loss surgery as a natural tool to help lose weight, as I’d exhausted all other options.
"I had gastric bypass surgery, and lost all the weight in less than a year. It was the best decision I’ve ever made."
After losing 68kg, Michelle had a lot of loose skin around her stomach and in October 2019, she decided to have abdominoplasty to get rid of it.
Now, she has feels happy and confident in her own skin, saying she wore a bikini for the first time last summer and it was an “incredible feeling.”
"I feel like a completely different person now. I'm happier, have energy, I can appreciate so much more in my life now,’ she said.
Mid-morning Snack: Doritos.
Lunch: A frozen microwave meal and 2 slices of white bread
Afternoon snack: Chips and a few rows of chocolate
Dinner: Big bowl of pasta, enough for two people
Dessert: Rest of the block of chocolate
Breakfast: Soy iced latte, half an english muffin, sauteed mushrooms and 1/4 of an avocado
Mid-morning snack: Protein shake or vege chips
Lunch: Salad with chicken or tofu
Afternoon snack: Sliced veggies and hummus
Dinner: Couscous with vegetables, honey mustard dressing and protein
Dessert: Sugarfree ice cream or a mini icy pole
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