Young student sheds almost half her body weight
Tuesday 10 July 2012
A 21-year-old woman has overcome a barrage of obstacles to lose nearly half her body weight in a year.
In a story that reads like a Roald Dahl book, Ashley had continually begged her mother and three slim sisters to empty the cupboards of treats and fatty food but they refused.
The 323lb student decided to take part in ABC’s Extreme Makeover show after recognizing she was a food addict. Ashley, who was 20 when her body transformation began, carried as staggering 60% of body fat and broke down when she saw her start weight of 23 stone, telling trainer Chris Powell “I’m ashamed. I’m so young and I have so many things that I want to do. I just need someone positive who really cares”.
Ashley’s mother had left her father when she discovered he was using drugs and her fathers’ absence had left Ashley with abandonment issues, which were further compounded by her propensity to compare herself to the other women in her family. Though she asked her mother and sisters for help, often the family would descend into argument and finger pointing which left Ashley with nowhere to turn for emotional support.
Ashley was put on a 1,500 calorie, no sugar, low salt diet and trained for two to four hours a day. Her first challenge was to lose 80lbs in the first 90 days, and she was rewarded with her own apartment upon reaching her target.
Moving out of the family home gave her a sense of independence and responsibility that spurred her on to confront her issues head on and she begun seeing a therapist and learnt to drive.
At her final weight in she had hit 167lbs, that’s 11stone 13lbs, and told producers “I’ve never felt so healthy. I love myself now. I didn’t love myself before”.
Ashley is now planning to become a personal trainer and to encourage others to live a healthy way of life.