Carla Louise, 50, lost seven stone through weight loss surgery and managed to maintain the weight with regular exercise and lifestyle changes.
She shared her journey with Express.co.uk and said: “I’ve always had a wonderful, happy life, had a great career and been blessed with amazing family and friends.
“But during lockdown I began to notice my weight growing, and it was starting to affect my mental health and I knew something wasn’t right.
“I found it so hard to lose weight through the traditional means as my body was working against me. I would lose one pound and then quickly gain another two.”
Carla decided to go for weight loss surgery after seeing a friend who achieved “great results”. She lost seven stone within nine months and went from a dress size 20 to a size eight in just 18 months.
After losing weight, “I really felt like I got my life back, I became a healthier, happier person and I can get back to doing things I love like dancing and walking up hills”.
Carla has managed to maintain the desired weight by exercising regularly, dancing and staying active, as well as making some adjustments to her lifestyle and diet.
She explained: “Some people say weight loss surgery is like cheating, and that it’s taking the easy way out. But it is far from being the easy option, you have to adjust your lifestyle choices, your eating and drinking habits and your attitude to food.
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“Whereas previously if I had a bad day I would turn to food for a mood booster, I know I can’t do that anymore and that the healthier option is to take a walk or do some exercise.
“I’m so glad I took the positive step to change my life and I’m happier and healthier than I’ve been in a long time.
“I went to Dubai for a holiday last month and I found myself dancing for eight hours solid, having an amazing time. I would never have been able to do that when I was heavier!”
She added: “Being overweight can have a really negative impact on your mental and physical health and I just didn’t feel like myself while I was heavier.
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“Now that I’ve lost the weight, I really feel like I’m in my late teens or early 20s again. My family even say that it’s like I’ve gone back in time to my younger years.
“Physically, I’m now able to do things I just wasn’t capable of before. While I was heavy, I’d be out of breath walking up the stairs, and now I’m able to climb big hills without breaking a sweat.
“Now I don’t get any trouble from my knee at all and I’m so much more active than I’ve been for years,” Carla explained.
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