Halving her weight and rediscovering her self-esteem, this registered nurse shares her inspiring story.
Two and a half years ago, Charlotte didn’t feel good about herself. She’d struggled with her weight since before she could remember and while she would pretend she wasn’t bothered by the judgement and cruelty of others, even strangers, her self-esteem was at an all-time low.
“You walk down the street minding your own business and someone will randomly scream at you, ‘You want a cheeseburger?'” I learnt to build up a wall, if you pretend like you don’t care then they can’t hurt you,” she says.
“But it’s a dagger to the heart every damn time. Every time someone mentions the scales, every time someone calls you ‘fatty’. It never gets easier, the sinking feeling in your heart hits every single time.”
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The 26-year-old was disheartened by the person looking back at herself in the mirror, too. “It’s horrible,” she recalls, “and I don’t wish that kind of self-hatred on anyone.”
Her eating habits are what she calls “messy”. Chocolate, pizza, pasta; she ate whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, roughly accounting for 3,000 calories or more a day.
“I binged to the point of feeling nauseous and would get up again the next day and do it all over again,” she says. “My brain didn’t have the ability to know when to stop, it was almost abuse.”
One day, when she was admitted to the hospital to get her tonsils removed, Charlotte was required to do a pre-op weigh-in. 117kg was a number that made her feel “shocked, embarrassed, and angry.” And that was her lightbulb moment. She knew something drastic had to change.
The registered nurse found dietary balance in Lite n’ Easy. Charlotte discovered it’s not about deprivation but moderation, and yes, that still includes chocolate and a pepperoni pizza every now and then. Cutting her calorie intake into less than half, 1,200 calories, though, was a challenge.
“I was so damn hungry in the beginning, and I couldn’t see a finish line in front of me,” she says. “Nonetheless, I did, a 50kg finish line in fact and it felt amazing.”
Something Charlotte noticed, and what Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson realised too, is the unfortunate reality of being treated differently after significant weight loss.
“When people start noticing your weight loss, they act differently towards you, and let me tell you, that does not go unnoticed,” she says.
“You don’t realise what impact that has when people suddenly start treating you like a human all because you lost weight.”
But ultimately, Charlotte doesn’t do it for the approval of others, and while her days aren’t always “sunshine and rainbows”, she now likes the person starring back at her.
“I still look in the mirror and don’t recognise myself sometimes, it’s all worth it for that feeling, life is all about growth and bettering yourself,” she says.
“Waking up is exciting when you truly have self-love.”
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