THIS WOMAN has left 24-inch scars on both her arms after losing more than HALF body weight and undergoing excess skin removal surgery – but she proudly shows them off as a reminder of how far she’s come.
Virginia physical therapist Katy Gaston, 30, lost nearly half her body weight in just two and a half years. Her love of sweets, bread and cheese meant that at her worst she dropped the scales at 250 pounds and a size 20 and despised being ‘the fat’ in her friendship group.
Katy hated herself and never felt comfortable in the clothes she was wearing. Even going to restaurants was an embarrassing ordeal for her, as she would become aware of what she had ordered off the menu.
Transformation: Katy Gaston, 30, from Virginia, lost almost half her body weight going from 250 lbs (left) to a slim 133 lbs (right)
Changes: The physical therapist was left with massive amounts of excess skin, so she had surgery to remove it, and now has 24-inch scars on both of her arms
Shy: Katy hated herself and never felt comfortable in the clothes she wore. Even going to restaurants was an embarrassing ordeal for her, as she was worried about seating
The turning point came for Katy when she realized that as a physical therapist responsible for getting people in shape, she needed to be a better example to her patients.
With a particularly hurtful comment that came straight from a patient saying that Katy would be handsome if she lost weight, she knew it was time for a drastic change.
She has lost over 112 pounds since early 2018 and now weighs just under 133 pounds and is a size 8.
Her incredible weight loss left Katy with excess loose skin that she had surgically removed from her stomach and armpits in March 2020. For Katy, her loose skin is a reminder of all the hard work she has put in to transform her life and she plans to move on. surgery on her legs to show off her growing quads.
Katy’s key to success is an incredibly rigorous exercise regimen where she runs consistently most days, running a total of 40 miles a week, and swapping the chocolate and chips for lean meat, brown rice, and lots of vegetables.
She says the comments she has received from friends, family and followers online have been overwhelmingly positive, with many calling her an inspiration and asking how she managed to lose weight so successfully.
Painful: After being known as ‘the fat one’ in her friendship group for years, Katy, pictured after her skin-removal surgery, decided to do something about her weight and changed her diet
Struggles: Katy admits she still struggles with self-esteem issues even after her weight loss
Candid: ‘I still struggle with my self-image. I still struggle with feelings of guilt about food. I can still see the swelling I have from skin removal surgery and think, “You have to do better,” she said
By far the worst comment was ‘you’d be beautiful if you lost weight’ – it upset me so much. I remember crying for it. How could I be a physical therapist and set an example for others when I looked the way I looked, ”Katy said.
‘I didn’t even realize how miserable I was before. I remember thinking I could never do it. That weight loss was one of those rare things that few could achieve. I’ve never been so happy that I was wrong.
‘The biggest problem was getting started early and just sticking with it. Especially if the scale wouldn’t move.
‘My confidence is much greater and I have branched out to do so many things that I never dreamed of doing – like rock climbing and hiking.
‘Now I am not only smaller, but also stronger, healthier, happier and more involved than ever. You just have to start somewhere.
‘I still struggle with my self-image. I still struggle with feelings of guilt about food. I still see the swelling I have from skin removal surgery and think, “You have to do better.”
“But I’m healthy, I look and feel fantastic, I can do pull-ups and run thirteen miles non-stop, and I’m literally shorter than sixth grade.”
A typical eating day before Katy’s lifestyle changed consisted of lots of bread, butter, fast food, sandwiches, pasta, cheese, chips, ice cream – a total of over 3,500 calories per day.
How Katy changed her diet to lose half her body weight
KATY’S DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Bread and butter
KATY’S DIET AFTER WEIGHT LOSS
BREAKFAST: Protein shake and oatmeal with fruit
LUNCH: Turkey or chicken with green beans and brown rice or sweet potato
DINNER: Chicken fajita salad or chickpea pasta with vegetables or pulled pork wrap with vegetables or spaghetti squash with vegetables and lean meat
You go girl: Despite her body image, Katy knows she’s healthier than she’s ever been – and she’s feeling better than ever
In fact, ‘I’m healthy, I look and feel fantastic, I can do pull-ups and run thirteen miles non-stop, and I’m literally shorter than in sixth grade,’ she said
A typical day of eating and exercising now includes a protein shake and oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, a lunch of lean meats such as turkey or chicken with green beans and sweet potato or brown rice.
For dinner, she has chicken fajita salad, chickpea pasta with veggies and chicken, pulled pork grilled wrap with veggies, or spaghetti squash baked with veggies and various spices and meat – about 2,000 calories in total.
She now runs 40 miles a week and lifts weights in the gym between four and five times a week.
She wants to encourage people who are embarking on their own weight loss journey to be confident, regardless of their size.
“I wish I had had that confidence then,” Katy said.
“Ladies, just wear those damn shorts and sports bras. Whatever your body type, you deserve to be happy and wear whatever makes you feel bold.
‘I am the happiest I have ever been. I’ve come to realize there is no perfect body, so I rock shorts and crop tops with no worries. ‘