Woman loses 12 stone after leaving 'toxic' boyfriend

Alida Elizabeth Dreyer has had a number of issues to contend with in her life; from bullying at school, to PCOS, to a toxic relationship that shattered her self esteem.

Like many people who struggle with their weight, her mental state had a big impact on how she treated her body, which left her feeling unworthy and unmotivated to exercise and eat well.

Thankfully, Alida has now transformed her life and shed an amazing 12 stone. But for her, along with many people who lose a large amount of weight, it was more about how she regained her confidence and learned to appreciate everything her body does for her.

Alida, who lives in Sydney, Australia, but is originally from South Africa, was bullied over her weight from a very young age and began to skip school as her mental health deteriorated.

She would self-harm and suffered from suicidal thoughts for years before being diagnosed with depression at the age of 12.

Speaking to Jam Press, she explained, ‘I gained my weight steadily over the ages of 6-23. At the age of 10 I weighed 82kg (12.9 stone), 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.

‘I was eating six slices of toast for breakfast with a hot <ilo, 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.’

The bingeing only continued when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome after struggling to conceive with her then boyfriend.

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 2 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.’

Simple daily tasks were a struggle for Alida, who was around 22.8 stone and couldn’t walk for more than 100 metres without stopping for breath.

After her unhealthy relationship, Alida radically overhauled her diet and exercise routine, and also has gastric sleeve surgery in March 2017 which she says helped her to control her portion size.

These changes saw her lose all of the weight over 12 months, and she has since maintained a healthy weight of 68kg (10.7stone).

Alida 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.

The professional services worker 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 explains, ‘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!’

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