A woman has gone on to lose a whopping 68kg — that’s half her starting body weight — after being fat-shamed by her own father.
In her early 20s, Michaela Miller, from Colorado, USA, tipped the scales at 136.5kg thanks to a diet of fast food and a tendency to emotionally binge-eat.
Concerned about their daughter’s health, Michaela’s parents tried to persuade her to change her lifestyle but their no-holds-barred approach caused a rift to form.
“My family was hard on me about my weight and my relationship with my father suffered greatly for it,” she said.
Her dad, in particular, would tell her outright that she had to lose weight, which saw Michaela rebel by deliberately consuming countless calories a day.
“I thought that eating and gaining weight was my way of taking back control from my father. It was my way of rebelling. The more I was pushed to lose weight, the more I ate,” she said.
At age 25, Michaela was a size 28 and struggling to complete everyday activities like walking because of pain.
“I couldn’t do anything without being in pain, breathing heavily, or sweating. I had high anxiety and depression – I just wasn’t living. I was so young and life was passing me by.”
Then she suffered what she thought was a heart attack; it turned out to be an allergic reaction but the shock forced her to reassess her health.
“I was scared for my life. I was afraid of dying young, but also of never really living too,” she said.
Having already tried several diets in her youth, Michaela knew that she needed a more permanent change and decided to undergo a self-financed vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery. This is where a section of the stomach is removed meaning you become ‘full’ quicker.
The surgery, however, was just one aspect of Michaela’s transformation.
“Weight-loss surgery is often viewed as the ‘easy way out.’ Nothing I have been through and done has been easy. Weight loss surgery is only one aspect. I had to completely change my lifestyle and my relationship with food.”
Michaela has since dropped 68kg, effectively halving her bodyweight. She now exercises daily, incorporating a mixture of cardio and weight-lifting workouts, and eats home-cooked high protein meals.
“Social media played a huge part in my self-love journey. I saw other women experiencing similar things and with similar bodies and it made me realise that I’m beautiful too.
“Loose skin, cellulite, rolls, dimples, and stretch marks are normal and none of those things detract from your beauty or worth.”
And, after bravely delving back into the dating world, Michaela met her partner and the two deem themselves to be ‘#swolemates.’
“My partner is amazing. He’s my perfect match and keeps me motivated. We love to meal prep and exercise together.”
Additional reporting by MediaDrumWorld/Australscope.