Real Life

I had excess skin removal after losing 90kg: Here's my story

I was proud of my progress, but there was one thing holding me back.

By As told to Take 5
Veronica Colbert, 33, from Brisbane, Qld, shares her real life story;
I stood up and felt my whole world sway.
Soon, I was so light-headed I thought that I'd faint or topple over.
Sugar, my body told me instinctively, so I rushed to the kitchen cupboard and ripped open a packet of biscuits.
Scoffing down as many sweet bikkies as I could, I felt myself slowly regain my strength.
It was odd, but these crazy sugar cravings had become more and more common.
Eventually, a doctor diagnosed me with low blood sugar.
While it was a relief to know what was wrong with me, there wasn't much that could be done. The cravings just wouldn't leave me.
I started bingeing on junk food, devouring entire cakes and blocks of chocolate like they were nothing.
Me before I lost all that weight
Not surprisingly, my weight ballooned to 100kg.
People were concerned for me.
"You'd look so much prettier if you lost weight," they said.
"Eating sugar's the only thing that makes me feel normal again," I explained, hoping they wouldn't bring it up again.
Of course I knew I was far too fat, but I was too stubborn and ashamed to do anything about it.
When I noticed a lump on my back, I forced myself to go to a doctor.
Before I had the chance to show him the lump, he took one look at me and asked: "Have you ever considered having weight loss surgery?"
A wave of anger washed over me.
"Get stuffed!" I yelled, my voice wavering. "I'm never coming back here again."
His rudeness had me reeling for days.
What sort of doctor acted so unprofessionally?
But when I started running out of breath and growing increasingly lethargic, I summoned the courage to drag myself to a different GP.
After doing some tests, she informed me that I had a leaking valve in my heart.
"Veronica, if you don't lose weight, you'll die," she warned.
I felt my whole world spin as I took in what she was saying.
All those years of stuffing myself with fatty foods had become second nature to me.
Now a complete stranger had given me a death sentence.
I was only 31.
There was so much I still wanted to do with my life like running, going skydiving and even tying my own shoelaces.
Before my skin removal surgery
But all I could hear were the doctor's words circling round and round in my brain.
So I did some research into weight loss surgery, I came across a procedure for a gastric sleeve that would shrink my stomach and reduce my food intake.
The operation was painful, but I managed to lose 90kg in one year.
Seeing the weight fall off me was the best feeling.
When I thought about eating a donut or cake, I just had to remember the exhilaration of being lighter.
"You look amazing," my friends gushed.
I replaced junk food with healthier options and started working out at the gym every morning.
Being in charge of my life for the first time in a decade gave me a real buzz.
I wasn't even shocked by the sagging skin that had been left behind.
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It's a badge of honour, I told myself proudly.
But over time I started to think differently.
The droopy rolls were nothing to be proud of.
Instead, they were a sad reminder of all the damage I'd inflicted on my body through being a slob.
Standing naked in front of the mirror, I gasped in shock.
"I look like a melted candle!" I cried.
The excess skin literally hung off my body.
My breasts were like saggy eggs and my arm flaps made it look as though I had wings.
So much for all the hard work, I sighed, feeling depression set in.
If only I could get rid of it …
Me at the body transformation competition.
Just as I'd done earlier, I researched options and came across skin removal surgery so I could finally have the body I dreamt of.
This year, I checked in for an extended tummy tuck, arm lift and bra-line lift which took a whopping 5kg of flab away.
The recovery was painful but with all that extra flesh gone, I felt incredible.
Buzzing with confidence, I continued working out and got down to 60kg.
I was a whole new person!
Other people saw it, too.
Wanting to show the world that anything was possible, I entered a body transformation championship and was awarded first place.
"Beauty isn't measured in kilograms, it's measured by your heart," I said. "I am so much healthier now than I ever was."
And that's how I intend to stay.
Thinking back to all those wasted years when I was a couch potato makes me realise just how precious life is.
Now I'm in control of my health, I don't want to waste a second.

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