At age 8, Tess Fitzgerald consulted with her first nutritionist. Even so young, she weighed 70 pounds. The nutritionist's advice: Eat less processed carbohydrates and add lean protein and vegetables to the diet.
She followed the tips, but kept gaining weight.
At age 14, she weighed 109 pounds. His mother, Mary, feared that his daughter had a hormonal imbalance and took her to the gynecologist. The diagnosis revealed why Tess suffered so much to lose weight: she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
"This can cause weight gain said the 21-year-old Boston woman. "I was always hungry... The weight just grew."
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a comprehensive term for a hormonal disorder that can cause insulin resistance, weight gain, and irregular menstruation in women. One specialist prescribed an antidiabetic medication for Tess to treat insulin resistance, but she became ill and could not stand it. Tess was unhappy and weak-and she would turn to food for comfort.
By the time she graduated from college in 2014, the young woman, 0 m tall, weighed 14, kg. "I was depressed she said.
Tess hoped college would be a new beginning. But she had to squeeze herself into the classroom seats. Her discomfort was a constant reminder of her weight. Life seemed so hopeless.
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"I was thinking, 'I'm stuck in this wallet for the next hour and a half' and could not breathe right. Every day I became more discouraged, "she said.
Surgery, diet change and walking
Mary Fitzgerald and her husband, Dan, worried about their daughter and enrolled her in a program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to help Tess lose weight. She would end up undergoing gastric sleeve surgery after losing 18 kg on her own.
When she started the program, it was the heaviest, at 157 kg. At the time of surgery, she dropped to 139 kg, thanks to a diet rich in protein.
Keeping a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates with lots of fruits and vegetables after surgery helped Tess continue to lose weight. While feeling better, she struggled to add exercises into her routine at first.
"I tried to go to the gym, but I still felt very uncomfortable. I then did a lot of walking and hiking, "she said.
Moving more helped and in the first six months she lost 68 pounds. Although happy with her success, she still felt uncomfortable because of the excess skin she had left behind. It was heavy and caused rashes. And she was ashamed to have to hide it under her clothes.
In January 2018, she had her skin removed and now weighs 6, pounds, where she hopes to stay. She remains focused on keeping her eating habits healthy and has been training with weights to add muscle mass. She hopes that her transformation will help others.
"You just have to tell yourself that you can. If you are feeling bad for yourself, you will never get there, "she said.
Tess Fitzgerald provides tips for other people who are hoping to lose weight.
1. Do research
Before starting her weight loss, Tess joined many support groups and read about the successes and failures of all.
"I learned very quickly online what the people's mistakes were she said. "I thought... 'You do not want to be like this.
2. Find the balance
Before, she thought she could never again enjoy foods like pasta or a dessert. But her diet was so restrictive that she became too thin. Since then, she has relaxed her diet and eats a wide variety of foods, only in moderation.
"I do not limit myself. I just do not go crazy, "she said. "Everything is based on finding balance".
3. Find support
Tess feels she would not have been so successful without her parents and friends.
"I have such great support she said. "I have a lot of people saying 'you're an inspiration'."
Knowing that so many people are by your side keeps you from returning to bad habits, because it does not want to fail for itself - or for others.
Do you know anyone who has a hormonal disorder that is disruptive to weight such as PCOS? What would you do instead of Tess? Do you think you could maintain your weight loss? Comment below!(3votes, average:, 0of 5)