Happiness gained from inspiring weight loss
AFTER a lifetime of weight challenges, a woman has undergone a remarkable transformation, losing a total of 80kg and dropping from size 30 clothing to 10.
From as young as she can remember, Renee Verdel struggled with her weight.
The Bundy local recalls moments throughout her life where she was unfairly judged for her weight, labelled the "fat girl" and told "you would be so pretty if you lost weight."
But the worst names Ms Verdel has ever been called, came from her own mouth.
"I self-loathed, I hated myself and I wished my weight would kill me," Ms Verdel said.
And at the age of 36, it almost did.
Ms Verdel suffered a mini stroke.
Doctors placed her on the public health system for weight loss, where she waited for two and half years, before she was able to receive gastric bypass surgery.
Prior to getting the surgery, Ms Verdel tried a number of detox diet trends and on some days, lived off nothing but flavoured water.
"Some people say weight loss surgery is cheating and it feels like we can't win when you're judged for being obese and then judged for getting surgery when the other methods failed," Ms Verdel said.
"Surgery is not going to do all the work, you have to do the right things that go along with it … listen to your doctor, eat healthy, take vitamins and be active."
Since the surgery, Ms Verdel has followed a high-protein, low-carb and low-sugar diet, as well as maintained an active lifestyle.
Three years on, Ms Verdel has lost 80kg, undergone two skin removal surgeries and dropped from a size 30 to size 10.
Despite experiencing pain after a complication resulted in emergency surgery due to built up scar tissue blocking her bowels, Ms Verdel said the surgery has completely changed her life for the better.
"I never understood what it meant to love yourself, but I do now," Ms Verdel said.
"My journey taught me that everyone judges, but no one else walks in your shoes and if you want to join the gym, you put your headphones in, crank up your happy music and smash your goals."