A woman who lived in fear of being too fat to fit in seats in restaurants or on planes and couldn’t even cross her legs has shed half her body weight in just over a year.
Carla FitzGerald, 34, from Dublin, Ireland, has dropped from 23st to a slim 10st in the past 14 months, after years of worrying that she’d be left red-faced about not being able to fit into seats in public.
She started her weight loss journey in January last year and successfully shed 13st during lockdown after struggling with her weight for her whole life – keeping an incredible photo diary to keep her motivated.
Carla FitzGerald, 34, from Dublin, Ireland, has dropped from 23 stone to 10 stone in the past 14 months, documenting her journey in an incredible photo diary to keep herself motivated
Since losing more than half her body weight, Carla no longer has to worry about whether or not she will be able to fit in the seats when going out for meals, or whether she will be too big for the seats on airplanes.
But now says she ‘feels so free’ because she doesn’t have to worry anymore and can enjoy fashion for the first time in her life.
Carla could say goodbye to her everyday uniform of black leggings and black baggy jumpers and can enjoy clothes for the first time in her life because she knows she will feel amazing in them.
She said: ‘I decided I was ready to start my weight loss journey in January last year after going through some therapy to help me.
Carla’s (pictured) weight left her constantly terrified that she was going to be left red-faced by not being able to fit into seats in public, such as in restaurants or on airplanes
She started her weight loss journey in January last year and successfully shed 13 stone during lockdown after struggling with her weight for her whole life (pictured: Carla with the amount of weight she has lost)
‘I have struggled with my weight and disordered eating for as long as I can remember. I tried every diet under the sun but nothing would stick.
‘Prior to my weight loss I had been diagnosed with food addiction. I was constantly thinking of where my next piece of food was coming from even while I was eating.
“I would go out on my lunch breaks from work and eat thousands of calories.
CARLA’S DIET BEFORE AND AFTER
BREAKFAST: Croissants, packet of raspberries and a large coffee
LUNCH: Large tray of takeaway sushi and a portion of Five Guys fries
DINNER: Chinese takeaway box; Salt and chilli chips and tofu, fried rice, curry sauce, spring rolls, soup and prawn crackers
SNACKS: Tortilla chips, cereal bars, popcorn, chocolate, bread with butter and cheese
LUNCH: Salad packed with vegetables
DINNER: Vegan sausages, with roasted tomatoes, spinach and cauliflower
SNACKS: Apple with peanut butter, fruit, vegan ham and lower calorie crisps
‘Each day I would consume between 3,000 and 5,000 calories. I ate takeaway food every day for lunch while I was at work, and I would have a takeaway at least one evening a week too.
‘If I wasn’t having a takeaway I would stuff myself with huge portions of pasta, nachos and just really carby and calorific food.
‘But after going through my most recent bout of therapy, I realised my body wasn’t the enemy and I felt worthy of changing my life for the better.
‘So I was ready to lose weight for the final time and began my calorie-controlled diet where I would be in a calorific deficit and walk for one hour each day.’
After years of avoiding mirrors, Carla said she doesn’t think she wasn’t actually aware of how big she was and tried to embrace her size for some time. However, she didn’t want to settle.
Carla, who documents her weight loss under halfofcarla on Instagram and YouTube, added: ‘I had never known what it was like to be slim, so therefore I didn’t know how difficult my life was due to my size until I lost weight and it was no longer hard.
‘I parked close to the shops because I couldn’t walk far and going upstairs was exhausting to me.
‘I worried about being able to walk down the aisle of the bus in case I couldn’t fit. I was constantly worrying about situations such as going out for meals or lunch for work meetings in case the chairs had arms and I wouldn’t be able to fit in them.
‘Going on holiday was even a nightmare for me because I’d panic about not fitting in the seat on the plane or finding a way to subtly ask for a seat belt extension.
Since losing more than half her body weight, Carla no longer has to worry about whether she will fit into seats in public which she said makes her feel ‘so free’ (pictured before, left, and after, right)
Carla had avoided mirrors for years and said she doesn’t think she wasn’t actually aware of how big she was and tried to embrace her size for some time but didn’t want to settle (pictured before, left, and after, right)
‘It was torture. But I don’t even have to think about things like that now. I feel so free.’
Carla, a social enterprise manager, made the best out of a bad situation with lockdown and managed to lose a bulk of her weight during this period.
She said that, although she was ready to lose weight regardless of lockdown, the situation allowed her to stay home, focus and create a healthy routine for herself.
Carla said: ‘I had lots of victories along the way with my weight loss. I remember the first time I was able to cross my legs, and the first time I could put my socks on while standing up.
Carla recalled ‘lots of victories’ during her weight loss journey, including being able to cross her legs for the first time and being able to put socks on while standing up
She said that she lost most of her weight in lockdown, as the situation allowed her to stay home, focus and create a healthy routine for herself
‘My skin started to glow, my eyes brightened and my hair was glossier.
‘Reaching my goal weight just happened so fast it had been hard to get used to the way I am now. It’s still a shock when I see my reflection.
‘I finally feel like the woman I have always wanted to be.
‘I’ve put a lot of work into myself and it’s like I have unzipped myself and I am finally free.
‘I am a different person now. I am full of pride, joy and hope. I’ve never felt like this before.’
Carla said getting used to the way she looks now has taken some getting used to, as reaching her goal weight happened ‘so fast’
Carla was able to say goodbye to her daily outfit of leggings and a baggy jumper and can now enjoy experimenting with outfits as she knows she will feel amazing in them
Carla, who documents her weight loss under halfofcarla on Instagram and YouTube, said she didn’t realise how ‘difficult’ her life was due to her size until she lost weight, as she had ‘never known what it was like to be slim’