A young woman who weighed nearly 420 pounds (approx. 191 kg) and wouldn’t eat out at restaurants without researching the size of the chairs now looks unrecognizable after shedding more than 140 pounds (approx. 64 kg).
Freya Symons, 29, from Andover, Hampshire, England, decided to ditch her unhealthy lifestyle in April 2019. Given her weight, she’d refuse to dine out at restaurants without Google searching the size of the chairs to ensure she would be able to fit in them and they didn’t look prone to break.
At her heaviest, Freya was unable to walk without crippling pains in her knees.
Freya says doctors prompted her to lose weight after she suffered three miscarriages, and after struggling with copious amounts of diets, Freya paid 10,000 pound sterlings (US$13,500) for a gastric sleeve to remove around 80 percent of her stomach.
After changing her diet and now exercising four times per week, Freya looks half the person she once was and has documented her progress on Instagram in a bid to help others.
“I would never go to a restaurant without researching online what the chairs looked like,” said Freya, who has set up her own business called Mye Prints.
“I was terrified of going somewhere new and not being able to fit in the seats. The chair fear was due to experiences of not being able to fit in chairs while I was on a cruise.”
“I was left in tears as I was so embarrassed,” she added.
Freya says she’d always felt like the “big” one in her friendship group.
“I’d been bigger than my friends for my entire life but my rapid weight gain started in my 20’s,” she said. “I went through three miscarriages too and I comfort ate during those hard times.”
“I would wake up every morning and while looking in the mirror I would tell myself I looked disgusting. It was such a viscous [sic] cycle as I felt depressed so I ate more to compensate but then I ended up feeling even worse,” she added.
“I decided to have the gastric sleeve surgery last April and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Freya—whose goal weight is roughly 170 pounds (approx. 77 kg)—used her savings to foot the nearly US$13,500 surgery bill and was able to pay part of it off on finance.
Freya said: “Surgery is no way the easy route to lose weight but I felt like it was my only option after exhausting so many diets over the years.
“I got married in October  and doctors did recommend losing weight after my fertility struggles.
“There was no reason why I couldn’t carry my own baby full term which is why it was blamed on my size.
“There was a two-year waiting list for the gastric sleeve on the NHS which is why I went private.”
Freya says that she would easily consume double the recommended 2,000 calories per day and would snack on sweets and chocolate throughout the day.
She added: “My major downfall was my portion sizes, I wasn’t having takeaways every day or anything like that but I would have twice as much pasta then [sic] everyone else. During the day I would snack on sharing bags of chocolate and sweets.”
However, she said she “took the plunge” in April 2019 and had surgery.
“I haven’t looked back since. I have swapped the sugary snacks for fruit and protein-based products,” she said.
“I feel and look like a different person and I can’t wait to hit my goal weight of 12 stones. I’ve gone from a size 32 or 34 at my biggest to 16 or 18 now.
“A lot of people have said I look unrecognizable but I also feel like a new person too.”
Freya’s diet before losing weight:
Breakfast: A large bowl of sugary cereal
Lunch: Chicken, bacon and stuffing meal deal with crisps and fizzy drink
Dinner: Large portion of spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread
Snacks: Sharer bag of chocolate/sweets/fizzy drinks
Freya’s diet now:
Breakfast: Breakfast bar with fruit
Lunch: x2 chicken legs with a salad
Dinner: Chicken with vegetables
Snacks: Fruit/low-calorie crisps or chocolate bar
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.
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