A woman has revealed how she shed over 76.2kg (12 stone) after she struggled to get pregnant due to weight gain and underlying health conditions – but she finally ended a ‘toxic’ relationship and shed the kilos in hopes to restart her life again.
Alida Elizabeth Dreyer, 27, who lives in Sydney but is originally from South Africa, suffered a number of health issues such as PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) and insulin resistance, poor mental health and a history of obesity in her family which she believes led to her weight gain.
Tipping the scale at 145.1kg (22st 8lbs) at her heaviest, Alida explained she has been depressed since experiencing severe bullying aged 12, which led her to want to self harm.
But after leaving her toxic partner and feeling like hiding in her apartment for months, Alida decided to turn her life around and lost an impressive 76.2kg (12 stone), reaching her goal weight of 68kg (10st 7lbs).
She’s now gearing up to showcase her amazing body transformation at a fitness competition next year.
She said: ‘I have been bullied for as long as I can remember.
‘I was bullied from when I went into primary school. It continued on until I started to lose weight.
‘It was so bad that I often took weeks off school, I was self-harming and I was suicidal.
‘My bullying was it’s worst from ages 12-18. At 12, I was diagnosed with depression which was likely sparked due to the extreme bullying I was facing.
‘It made me feel as though I was not worth as much as other people who had smaller bodies.
‘I felt as though I was not worthy of living and that there must have been something wrong with me.’
The super slimmer admitted her diet was ‘very poor’ and she consistently ate large portions of food, consuming up to 5,000 calories per day.
She explained, ‘I gained my weight steadily over the ages of six to 23. At the age of ten, I weighed 82kg. I would eat a lot of snacks. I used to eat in secret, I would hide food in my room. It formed part of my eating addiction and poor mental health.’
Alida admitted she would gorge on a large McDonald’s meal with an additional burger, and could easily devour a large pizza and garlic bread to herself.
‘I was eating six slices of toast for breakfast with a hot milo, and then would have a carb-heavy lunch such as pasta or Mac and Cheese. Dinner would be meat, vegetables and carbs such as rice or pasta again and my portions would be extremely big.
‘I also snacked on a small bag of crisps with some cheese and never drank water, just cordial and juice.
‘I was never tracking calories, but I would say anywhere from 2,500-3,500 calories in a day easily.
‘There were days that I binged and I think I could have consumed 5,000 calories,’ she added.
Alida always wanted to be a mother and decided to try for a baby with her boyfriend at the time – however, she struggled to conceive naturally.
Doctors warned that her heavy weight and underlying health conditions would make it increasingly difficult for her to have a baby – and Alida was devastated.
Two days after visiting a fertility clinic, Alida left her ‘toxic’ boyfriend saying that her ‘size’ played a large part in the breakdown of the relationship.
She said: ‘I ended a toxic relationship with my boyfriend at the time, he did not dump me. I left him because the relationship was extremely unhealthy.
‘My boyfriend and I broke up two days after I saw the fertility specialist.
‘Yes, the inability to naturally conceive at my size played a part, but it was so much more than that.’
Alida struggled to leave her house and felt ashamed about the way she looked.
She found it difficult to participate in sports as a child, and couldn’t walk for more than 100 metres without experiencing pain in her body.
Even simple tasks like parking in a tight car spot was a struggle, as she would find it difficult to open the car without hitting a vehicle next to her.
At her heaviest, Alida weighed a whopping 145.1kg (22st 8lbs) before radically overhauling her diet and exercise routine.
She also has gastric sleeve surgery in March 2017 which she says helped her to control her portion size.
Speaking of what inspired her to lose weight, Alida said, ‘I was at a very low point in my life, at the age of 23 I was morbidly obese and unable to do the basic things that anyone should be able to do. I couldn’t walk more than 100m without being sore.’
‘I decided that it was time to claim back my life. I was inspired to start living life instead of just getting by, day by day. I wanted to find myself beautiful and love myself.’
Alida embarked on a health and fitness plan which saw her lose all of the weight over 12 months, and she has since maintained a healthy weight of 68kg (10st 7lbs).
She now follows a vegan diet and is focused on holistic and conscious eating which sees her eating to nourish her body and provide it with the nutrients it needs to work at it’s best.
Alida has also signed up to compete in the WBFF (World Beauty Fitness and Fashion) competition next year in their transformation division which she says will entail ‘hard work and dedication both physically and mentally to make my body strong, fit and healthy.’
And it’s not just her body that has changed, it’s her mindset too, as Alida explained:
‘I am all about positivity; prior to my weight loss journey, I was extremely negative and I had a mindset that everything was too hard and that I was not worth enough to change my life.
‘Since going through this journey, I have spent a lot of time working on not only changing my physical body but also changing my mind. Re-setting my mindset and self-worth.
‘I am now very positive and have a lot of self-confidence and self-awareness. My mindset is focused around a healthy body and a healthy soul.’
After shedding the weight, Alida says she feels fantastic, noting: ‘I never understood how much I was missing out on when I was obese. I thought it was natural and normal to feel sore and tired all of the time. Now I have so much energy and I don’t just survive, I thrive.’
She also credits her family for being her ‘biggest support’ throughout her weight loss journey, as well as the overwhelming positive support she received from others on Instagram where she regularly documents her weight loss with her 5,908 followers.
‘I started my page because I got a gastric sleeve as a tool to assist me with weight loss after years of ‘fad dieting’ she explained.
‘I did not have a wider support network at the start of my journey and that was hard. I started my page so that even if I was able to support and help 1 person, it would give me a sense of accomplishment.
‘I have a completely honest and unfiltered Instagram page where I am always going to tell the truth about the journey I have been on. I also provide 24/7 support for anyone that messages me. I answer hundreds of questions.’
As well as having a Gastric sleeve fitted, Alida has also had a breast lift as well as a subsequent revision, reduction and implants, a lower body lift with a FDL (Fleur de Lis) and a back lift, two arm lifts and thigh lift, liposuction to her calves, revision of a scar and a second thigh lift.
And for those looking to lose weight too, Alida advises monitoring calories, noting, lowering foods with high-calorie content, start parking your car a bit further away so you get in more steps. Research and be aware of what you’re putting in your mouth and reach out to people who have also lost weight.’
‘But my biggest tip is that it is okay to slip up and make mistakes, we are human and that is normal,’ she added.