An Aussie mum has shared her impressive before and after photos following her 55kg weight loss.
Sandra Abbey, known on social media as ‘the girl behind the spanx’, decided to change her life after she nearly died during labour due to weight-related complications.
Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, she said, “Every body deserves to be happy, loved, respected and valued.
“Fight for what you want and believe in and make sure you learn from the past and vow never to go back there again.”
Sandra weighed 125kg when she gave birth to her daughter, Lara, but her size proved to almost deadly as it caused a host of health problems for her body.
After trying for three years to get pregnant, the Melbourne mum developed gestational diabetes while carrying her daughter, and was suddenly diagnosed with pre-eclampsia after her c-section, with her blood pressure shooting up dangerously.
“Giving birth to Lara was it for me,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle last year, “It was a scary turning point.”
“To not be able to be with Lara because I was sick and missing those first few hours of her life was a wake up call.”
Lara was breech, so doctors had to deliver her via c-section, but after Sandra developed pre-eclampsia, she needed to be rushed to intensive care.
“After I delivered I got pre-eclampsia which is very rare as you usually have it before the birth,” she said.
“For the first 24 hours of Lara's life, doctors thought I was at risk of suffering a stroke and it was all caused by my weight.”
Luckily the mum pulled through, but having struggled with her weight her whole life she realised she needed to do something about it.
“It was actually a miracle I got pregnant because of my size,” she said, explaining that ever since she was young, she'd turned to food for comfort, which had affected her fertility.
"The emotional stress of not falling pregnant, contributed to me eating as well. It was a catch 22."
But despite her determination, Sandra admitted beating her lifelong habits was a real struggle, especially whilst caring for a newborn.
After failing to get results on her own, she turned to her GP for help nearly two years after Lara was born.
"He suggested the gastric sleeve but I was skeptical. I didn't want to be considered a 'cheater'," Sandra said.
But despite her initial hesitation, she agreed and underwent the procedure — which involves permanently removing a large part of the stomach — in June 2017.
"What kind of role model would I be if my daughter saw me binge eat and being unhealthy?" she confessed. "I didn't want this for her."
She’s since trained her brain not to overeat and opts for healthy, high-protein meals, usually chicken with vegies with snacks of hard boiled eggs or yoghurt.
She also added in exercise with a personal trainer which led to quick results.
"It felt amazing when I saw my body change, it made the hard work worthwhile," she said.
Within 18 months she lost an amazing 55kg and dropped seven dress sizes from a 24 to a size 10.
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