I lost six dress sizes but had no idea what to wear; now I’m finally confident enough to flaunt my new figure.
Alex Athienitou was a size 22 and weighed 17st at this time last year.
The 33-year-old mother of two wore only baggy black clothes and lacked the confidence to follow trends in the way she desired.
She couldn’t rediscover her style mojo despite reducing to a size eight after gastric sleeve surgery late in 2020.
Tracey Lea Sayer, Fabulous Fashion Director
Alex, an Executive PA for a construction firm, is the first woman to participate in Tracey’s new Challenge The Stylist series, in which she lends her expertise to readers.
“Even though I felt a lot more confident and happier in myself following the weight loss, I still had an issue with finding what was appropriate for me fashion-wise,” Alex, who lives in Leytonstone, East London, with her husband Michael, 33, a surveyor, and their kids Byron, five, and Eden, one, said.
“I didn’t know how to put myself together.” I had been a certain size for the majority of my life, so having to abruptly shift is a significant concern.
“I was completely lost.” I was in possession of a new body and had no idea what to do with it.
“I was hesitant to wear a crop top because I lacked confidence.” For me, that was not an option. I still preferred baggy clothing because it was what I was used to.” “Food was emotional for me,” Alex, who had been dieting for 13 years, continued.
“From McDonald’s to KFC to Greggs, I’d eat it all.” Maybe three to four times a week, I’d get takeout.
“I ate when I was happy, when I was unhappy, when I was furious, when I was anxious.”
I’d try every diet out there, including Atkins, Weight Watchers, juice diets, and cleanses.
My issue was a lack of willpower.
Then there was last summer, when I was really hot and unpleasant. That was no longer an option for me.
“I suffered from severe postpartum depression. You become someone else’s mother or wife, not yourself.” Doctors excised 85 percent of Alex’s stomach after the gastric sleeve procedure, limiting her to small meals.
“I began feeling a sense of contentment and clarity like never before,” she said of starting The Six-Pack Revolution fitness program.
“It felt fantastic to let go of the weight.” When it came to fashion, though, Alex was still plagued with self-doubt.
“I had a black T-shirt that I would dress up or down all the time,” she explained.
“I’d wear it for my birthday or on my way to school.” It was simply my go-to option. I’ve always had piles of fashion magazines, but I’ve never been able to connect what I’ve seen to my size.
“When… Brinkwire Breaking News,” says the narrator.