“I could eat throughout the whole day and even in the evening. I loved having a full plate”, the thirty-year old recalls about her heavier years. She still remembers the shocked looks people gave her when she was walking down the street. She feels ashamed knowing her colleague always had to wait for her when they went outside. A few steps were enough for her to be out of breath, and walking up the stairs felt like a nightmare. Normal sizes did not fit her and plus-sized clothing was expensive. She had many friends, but no boyfriend. Still, it took her a long time to admit she had a problem. This changed when she sat down behind the wheel and realised she couldn’t fasten the seatbelt. She has always loved driving. “I realised that I was not only a disgrace to myself, but also my family and friends”, the beautiful young social worker reflects.

Tereza after her bariatric surgery.
Tereza after her bariatric surgery. (Source: Kondice Magazine)
Tereza way back before her weight loss surgery.
Tereza way back before her weight loss surgery. (Source: Kondice Magazine)

Late-night overeating

Her doctor at Prague IKEM, who has been treating her for chronic liver disease, also urged her to do something about her weight. In November 2016 she finally booked an appointment at the OB Clinic. “I never weighed myself at home. Stepping on the scale was a shock. I thought I weighed at least 30 kg less”, Tereza remembers.

She still cannot explain how she got to 200 kg, nor why she let the problem go so far. She definitely couldn’t blame it on genetics. Her father does have some extra pounds, but her mother is slim. Corticosteroid treatment for chronic kidney disease can cause patients to gain weight, but not nearly as much. “It is my own fault. I was stupid”, she says. She tried many diets, which helped her lose weight temporarily, but then it came back with a vengeance. So one day she gave up and succumbed to binge eating. Especially late at night. “I kept telling myself: A few more pounds won’t make much of a difference so why not indulge yourself?”, she adds.

Boxed meals and gastric surgery

At the OB Clinic, Tereza became a patient of one of the best renowned obesity experts in the Czech Republic, Dita Pichlerová. “I recognised right away that this woman had a great potential. She was very beautiful, even with all the extra weight”, doctor Pichlerová says. Considering Tereza’s initial weight they set a goal of 130 kg, but Tereza wanted to beat that limit and get under 100 kg.

Already two months after gastric plication surgery, Tereza shed another 18 kg, mostly of fat. She felt great and had no problems adhering to her dietary regimen. She started taking walks and exercising. In September 2018, the scale showed the number 107 kg, half of her initial weight! The last time this was her weight was at eighteen. Tereza felt very happy and decided to undergo abdominoplasty (surgical removal of sagging skin following weight loss). She also had arm lift done this January. Two more surgeries still remain ahead of her: removal of excess skin from her breasts (breast uplift) and from her thighs (thigh lift).

“I knew I was not wrong about Tereza when I first saw her. She is a gorgeous young woman, now weighing 95 kg, which is an amazing result for her height, adding up to a BMI of 28.8”, MUDr. Pichlerová concludes.

I will never let this happen again

Tereza says that weight loss did not feel hard for her at all. Daily cooking, weighing all the ingredients and preparing them in boxes was the most demanding for her. “Once I really made the decision, it felt effortless. Doctor Pichlerová is just my kind of person and all of the nutrition nurses I encountered were very patient and helpful”, Tereza recalls. Her advice to all women in a similar situation is to have no fear and make their weight-loss dreams come true.

Tereza still carries boxes of food to work. She prepares five to six of them, 150 ml (2.5 cups) of food each. She cannot drink anything 30 minutes before and after a meal. She tries to stay away from carb-rich side dishes and consume a lot of protein and vegetables. “I don’t have to cook as often because I eat small portions and my friends and family are more than happy when I share my culinary creations with them. I have sinned against my diet, but only a couple of times. I still keep myself in check”, Tereza smiles. She says she will never let another major weight gain happen, let alone return to her former weight. She hung her “before” and “after” photos on the walls of her flat to keep herself motivated.

Her treatment and surgeries have already cost her over a thousand Euro, but she never loses her humour. “I spent a lot of money on pigging out, so it makes sense that I have to save up to get rid of that fat. I have no regrets in this regard. I was stupid, so I have to pay for it”.

People have always looked at her when she went outside and this hasn’t changed. “At first, I think: Why even now? But then I realise that the person was just smiling at me because I’m pretty”, she concludes. 

(Source: Kondice Magazine)

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