A WOMAN who was so heavy she "broke furniture" and "couldn't fit in plane seats" has revealed her incredible transformation.
Jessica Ferro hopes her story – from "morbidly obese" to bodybuilder – will inspire others to follow in her footsteps.
At her biggest, the 34-year-old, who is 6ft tall, weighed 36st and had high blood pressure, breathing problems and constant back and joint pain.
She was eating more than 6,500 calories a day and could easily polish off a McDonald's dinner box and eat two large pizzas herself, and still be hungry again an hour later.
But witnessing her dad, who was also obese, have a heart attack and struggling to give him CPR was the wake-up call she needed.
In the midst of her grief, she knew something needed to change or she may suffer the same fate.
READ MORE ON WEIGHT LOSS
Easy cleaning tweaks that can help you burn 550 calories with little extra effort
Walking 100 steps backwards is 'as good as 1,000 forwards', doctor reveals
Jessica, from Melbourne, Australia, said: "There were minor incidents that first triggered my weight loss journey, like breaking furniture, being told I wasn't good enough because of my size, not being able to find clothes that fit, and being ridiculed on planes for not fitting in a seat.
"But nothing hit me as hard as the death of my dad.
"He passed away from a massive heart attack in front of me.
"I tried desperately to revive him when he’d fallen out of bed, but trying to move 20st 7lbs (130kg) of unconscious weight and then perform CPR was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.
Most read in Diet & Fitness
The shocking truth about how fattening your favourite coffee is
I was digging my own grave – I reached the same size mum was when we buried her
WEIGH TO GO
How I’m a Celeb star Josie Gibson shed 6st in a year going from size 20 to an 8
How sit-ups are total waste of time if you want a flat tummy & 3 moves that do work
"I was so unfit; I was sweating and hyperventilating trying to pump my dad's chest to revive him as the emergency assistant was trying to calm me down and give me directions on the phone.
"That day changed me for good."
Jessica added that her father didn't drink, smoke or have any unhealthy habits except his love of food.
This meant he spent his life obese but struggling to shed any pounds.
"I can't help but think that if my dad had made a more active effort to control his high blood pressure and weight, he would still be here today," his daughter said.
"So I swore I would do everything I could to be the healthiest and best version of myself from that point onwards."
Jessica described “hating” her body at the time, while also coping with mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression.
Finally at her wit's end and eligible for gastric bypass surgery, she underwent the procedure at Warringal Private Hospital in Heidelberg on July 13, 2018 – exactly a year after her dad's death.
She said: "I was so morbidly obese when I jumped on the scales back when I started my weight loss journey, they maxed out.
"I hated who I saw staring back at me in the mirror, how helpless I felt, and the restrictions on my life because of my weight.
"Men would tell me ‘You're not skinny enough’ or ‘Sorry, but I don't date fat chicks’, and my lower back and knees would constantly be in a state of pain.
"I had gastric bypass surgery after having an open and honest conversation with a gastrointestinal surgeon.
"This is not taking the easy option."
I used to hide food in my room or go to a drive-thru on my way home and have a meal before dinner.
Following the operation, Jessica was left with loose skin, which she got removed during another procedure.
She also committed herself to a fitness routine and diet overhaul.
"Looking back now, I know that my eating habits were so unhealthy," she said.
"I remember I could eat a family-size McDonald's dinner box by myself or two large pizzas and be hungry in an hour.
"I used to have massive meals like huge bowls of pasta, and then in between consume bags of chips, a couple of king size chocolate bars, never drink water, and just eat junk food nonstop.
"I used to hide food in my room or in my drawers at work or go through a drive-thru on my way home and have a meal before dinner.
"If I had to guess, I wouldn't be surprised if my calorie intake was 4,500 to 6,500 calories or more a day."
Jessica tries to eat smaller meals, avoids processed foods and has taught herself to cook.
She focuses on high-protein options, vegetables and low-calorie snacks, and works out regularly.
'I DESERVE HAPPINESS'
"Now, I sit comfortably around 12st 7lbs and it has taken me roughly five years to get to this point," she said.
Jessica even competed at the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion pageant last year.
"When I started my journey, never in a million years did I think I would compete in a body sculpting or bodybuilding competition," she added.
"Do not for a second think that you're too big to go to the gym or that people will stare at you or judge you.
"We have to start somewhere, and I can assure you people will cheer you on when they see you coming regularly and putting the work in."
Having lost 23st, Jessica feels like a new woman and wants to share that with others.
The now-fitness fanatic, who documents her journey on Instagram (@bypassing .jessica), said: "I am proud of what I’ve achieved and I honestly do love inspiring others on their journey, but I also feel regret that I waited so long to start really living.
"It's only now that I realise how much my weight affected my energy, mood, confidence, and willingness to engage in activities or even go out with friends.
"I appreciate my life so much more now and I can't begin to explain the massive difference in energy I have compared to before.
"Every aspect of my life has changed. Emotionally I'm happier and believe I deserve that happiness.
Read More on The Sun
Netflix axes FIVE series in most brutal TV cull yet – leaving fans devastated
Horror pictures show woman's arm bitten through to the bone by crazed dog
"My father lost his life because of his poor health and I don't want to ever put my family through that.
"I know he's looking down, encouraging me and proud of what I've achieved."
Jessica’s diet transformation
- Breakfast – 6 to 8 pieces of white bread toasted with peanut butter, Nutella or butter, and Vegemite with 1 to 1.5 litres of fruit drink or juice
- Lunch – 2 to 3 large bowls of pasta with snacks
- Dinner – fast food (e.g. a McDonald’s family box, pizza, KFC)
- Snacks – crisps, chocolate family blocks, sweets
- Breakfast – 50g of oats with protein or an English muffin with two eggs and 30 to 50g of avocado
- Lunch – salad with protein or gluten-free pasta with homemadesauce
- Dinner – protein like steak, fish or chicken with vegetables
- Snacks – protein shakes, fruit, protein yogurt, rice cakes
Source: Read Full Article