After being left distraught by her mother’s passing, Sofia Wyszynski, from New York, turned to food to fill the void.
The student began constantly binge eating, and by her 18th birthday, she weighed 135kg.
Things only worsened when she fell pregnant unexpectedly two years later, and it was only after the birth of her baby boy that she found the resolve to overhaul her life.
“Losing my mother was the hardest thing that ever happened to me,” she said.
“She got sick right around the same time I started struggling with food, and then, by the time I lost her, I was overeating.
“When I found out I was pregnant, I was equally happy as I was frightened. I promised myself that I would do anything to protect my baby when they were born.”
But things got worse before they got better and at her heaviest, Sofia weighed 186kg.
“During my pregnancy, my eating habits worsened,” Sofia, now 24, explained.
“I took the whole ‘eating for two’ idea to an extreme. I would eat an entire 500ml tub of ice cream every day and say it was because the baby needed calcium.
“Just before my twenty-first birthday I gave birth, and looking at my son, the love of my life, I knew something had to change.”
Sofia knew she would have to overhaul her lifestyle to be there for her son Lucas, and a year after his birth, she underwent a gastric bypass surgery.
Within the first three months, the mum lost 44kg while minimising her portions and doing regular exercise. Over the following two years, she dropped a total 101kg, but this drastic weight loss led to Sofia requiring excess skin removal surgery to remove 5kg of skin from her legs and stomach.
“Having a gastric bypass was the easiest decision I ever made, and following my son, the best thing to ever happen. I knew I needed surgery to save my life, and to give my son everything he deserved,” said Sofia.
“While I was losing weight, I was on a strict diet which was restrictive in both calories and portion size, allowing myself 800 calories a day.
“I also added exercise, which at first, was very limited. I was so big that I could hardly move. But as I lost weight, I was able to begin both cardio and weight lifting regimens.
“I am still committed today to going to the gym three to four times a week.”
Now, Sofia weighs an astonishing 80kg and wears a size small. Losing weight has helped her regain control over her health and her life, and she’s now returned to education to gain a degree in writing and literature.
“Losing weight made my confidence soar,” she said.
“Not only did I like the way my physical reflection in the mirror was changing, but I loved the inner parts of me that were finally able to push through and shine again.
“The only thing that held me back after my weight loss was my hanging skin.
“The skin removal was necessary, as I was developing rashes in the folds of
my skin. I had a combined lower and upper body surgery in July 2018, and it has truly completed my transformation.
“I love my results, and I can’t wait to see how much further I can go by sticking to my diet and continuing to go to the gym. I don’t even recognise myself in the