Caroline Springs’ Charlene Crawford is stepping into 2017 as a new woman.
Ms Crawford (pictured) has lost 93 kilograms and turned her life around, opening her life up to possibilities about which she could previously only dream.
At her heaviest, 199kg, Ms Crawford, 28, said a dire warning from her doctor in 2014 prompted her to take action.
“My doctor basically told me if I didn’t do something, I’d probably be dead in two years,” Ms Crawford said.
“I’d struggled with my weight since I was young, and friends had always told me to have surgery, but I wasn’t in the right mind set. That doctor visit changed that.”
After waiting a year for gastric sleeve surgery, Ms Crawford dropped 20 dress sizes from August 2015 until the end of last year.
“I was losing 6kg a week at the start, and that gradually slowed down over time,” she said.
“I’ve totally changed my ways. I got a personal trainer, I go to the gym, I do Zumba, I go for a walk every night. I used to stay inside all day, now I’m out doing all the things I’m meant to be doing.
“I look at food differently now. It’s fuel for your body, not the comfort food it used to be. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster, but I’m a completely changed person now.
“It’s all the little things, like sitting on a chair with arms, or going out for a meal and not having people stare. It really has changed my life.”
And in the season of new year’s resolutions, what advice does she have for others who may be battling the bulge?
“Never give up,” she said. “If I can do it, anyone can. My doctors are so proud of me, and I’m proud of myself for making the change.”