Nicole Caperilla had been overweight since childhood, and bad food choices and night shifts as an adult saw her reach 120kg before she decided to make a change.
In 2017, she decided to undergo a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which removes a large part of the stomach, and then begin a strict regime of healthy eating, weight training and walking.
And while her weightloss was impressive – she lost 57kgs within a year and dropped from a size 24 to an 8 – she was surprised to find some friends weren’t supportive of her transformation.
“Although I never received any nasty comments to my face, I did receive rude comments after my weight loss success from some of the people closest to me,” she said, “I’m talking about friends I’d had all my life.”
“They were not supportive at all. They would criticise everything about me and put me down not realising their jokes hurt. They’d judge or joke about what I was wearing and tell me I wasn’t perfect. They were very negative.”
With the support of her husband Charlie, however, she distanced herself from those people, saying, “It took me a long time to come to realise they were just jealous.”
“I realised that I didn’t need to have people like that in my life.”
How she lost the weight
After recovering from surgery, Nicole started by swapping junk food for protein-rich legumes and lean meats, and hitting the gym at least five days a week.
Now, her day on a plate looks like oatmeal for breakfast, sweet potatoes with vegetables for lunch, and a protein, complex carbs and vegetables for dinner, with fruit as snacks throughout the day.
It’s a far cry from the days when she said she “never had any energy and was always out of breath.”
“I got winded by the smallest things and was borderline diabetic, borderline sleep apnoea and had high blood pressure,” she said of her former life.
“One of the scariest times for me were when I was waking myself up in a panic gasping for breath because I’d stopped breathing in my sleep.”
And her transformation hasn’t just been a physical one, with Nicole saying she’s also more positive now and has become a personal trainer.
“I’m so proud of myself for losing weight and my internal transformation too. I’m more positive, I empower others, I make goals and I chase them and achieve them,” she said.
“If you want to lose weight then my advice would be to start today. Don’t even wait for Monday to come around. Do it now, and absolutely do it just for you.
“I had so much self-doubt. I think we all do… never in a million years would I have ever have imagined I’d be where I am today.”
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