An obese fast food addict who would secretly binge on greasy takeaways has dropped an incredible 82kg and six dress sizes after switching to a vegan diet.
In 2016, Kirsty Young, from Geelong, Victoria, said her self-esteem was at an all-time low when she tipped the scales at 167kg and wore size 26 clothing.
The now 34-year-old had an addiction to fast food and would often have secret mammoth binges after stopping in at McDonald’s or KFC on the way home from work.
Day on a plate before
Mid-morning Snack: Large skim latte with sugar
Lunch: Chicken schnitzel wrap or on binge day multiple takeaway meals from different drive-throughs on way home from work
Afternoon snack: A packet of chips and a coke
Dinner: Takeaway such as Chinese
Dessert: Half a packet of Tim Tams or half a block of chocolate
Day on a plate after
Breakfast: Green smoothie with banana, berries, zucchini, spinach, chia seeds, protein powder and oats.
Mid-morning Snack: Black coffee
Lunch: Mexican bowl with rice, sweet potato, chipotle hummus, black beans, greens, avocado and corn chips
Afternoon snack: A banana
Dinner: Homemade chickpea and pumpkin coconut curry with spinach and flatbread. Or homemade pizzas Dessert (if applicable): A couple of pieces of chocolate occasionally’
‘It got out of control when I graduated from university and got a desk job. I was sitting for eight or more hours a day, and I’d secretly binge on fast food when I wasn’t in a good headspace,’ Kirsty said.
‘On my bad days I would go through several drive-thrus and order multiple takeaway meals. I was so ashamed of myself, I’d eat it all in secret.’
Kirsty gained 40kg in her first year after graduating which led to even more food binges because she was so self-conscious.
‘The turning point came in my late 20s, things were just getting harder. I had pre-diabetes, aching joints, and were on so many medications,’ she said.
‘I couldn’t even comfortably fit into a train seat on my morning commute. I switched to part time work because I couldn’t keep up with life. I carried a lot of self-shame and the constant unhappiness that comes with it.
‘I knew to even have a future, I had to change.’
Kirsty then ditched her greasy fast food binges and nightly chocolate habit in favour of a healthy vegan diet, rich in nutritious fresh fruits, vegetables and wholesome carbs.
She also decided to undergo gastric sleeve surgery in August, 2016, to have 80 per cent of her stomach removed – a surgery she describes as a ‘tool’ to aid in her weight loss.
‘The surgery doesn’t magically fix everything. You can still eat excessive calories, it doesn’t make you exercise or heal your head and the reasons you became morbidly obese in the first place,’ she said.
‘I began doing exercise I actually enjoyed such as Zumba classes, personal training, hikes with friends and bootcamps. I also eat a whole foods, plant-based diet with some vegan comfort foods for balance.’
The inspirational slimmer has since lost an amazing 82kg and six dress sizes – looking unrecognisable in her new 85kg, size 12 frame.
In addition to the weight loss, Kirsty said her skin is much clearer these days, while her mood seems to be far more balanced since going vegan.
‘Since losing the weight I’ve been able to address the things that caused my weight gain in the first place and I’ve been able to lead a healthier life physically, mentally and emotionally,’ she said.
‘I’m now eating in a way that I’m proud of and proud to share, rather than those secret fast food binges.
‘I love food now, more than ever, but in a much healthier way.’