Who doesn’t love a positive weight loss story?
Nothing says ‘I’m over you’ quite like bouncing back from a breakup with a brand new body and a whole new outlook on life.
Jennifer Velardi, a 33-year-old teacher from Canada lost nearly half her body weight after her husband left her without warning.
The couple had been married for five years when he jetted off to the Dominican Republic to visit his family, then emailed to say he wasn’t coming back.
It was the turning point for Jennifer who decided to use her heartbreak as a catalyst to kickstart a healthy new regime, ditching the junk food for protein and vegetables and ramping up her exercise programme.
Having lost a whopping 45kg, Jennifer now weighs in at a trim 9 st 7 and following two operations to remove excess skin, has overhauled her life and her looks to become a diet and fitness guru.
As a self-confessed comfort eater, Jennifer admits that since childhood she has turned to food to help her cope with her mum’s mental health problems.
“My mother suffered from severe depression. It was a very difficult time,” she said.
“I worried about her all the time and kept her very close to me. I ate a lot to quiet my fears and anxieties.”
Devastatingly, eleven months after Jennifer got married, her mum took her own life and feeling broken she turned to food to help her cope with her grief.
“I began eating even more. I was trying to fill the emptiness that I felt inside and tried to stifle all the pain I was feeling,” she explains.
“I slept all the time and didn’t exercise at all. My weight reached an all-time high and I didn’t even care. I let myself go for three years.”
At the same time Jennifer’s husband began to withdraw from the relationship and as her weight crept up to 16 st 9 things continued to deteriorate.
“Our marriage was very rocky,” Jennifer explains. “As my weight continued to steadily increase from the stress, it got worse and worse between us.”
Though Jennifer tried to start losing weight, it wasn’t until her husband left her that she finally found the determination to really overhaul her lifestyle.
“It was sort of like a slap in the face to me and woke me up from the emotional coma that I was in after my mum passed,” she reflects.
Jennifer started with her diet – swapping junk food and fizzy drinks for healthier options and cutting down her portion sizes. Then she began exercising, walking at first, then jogging and eventually adding weight training into her fitness regime.
And having transformed her body, last year, Jennifer had abdominoplasty and a brachioplasty and is scheduled for thighplasty next month.
She believes overhauling her lifestyle has given her a completely new lease of life, and importantly, she believes she’s living the positive, healthy lifestyle that her mother always wished for her.
“I think my mum would be really proud of the fact that I have finally taken control of my health; mind, body, and soul,” she said.
“Her greatest wish was to see me happy.”
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