A woman who was teased about her weight at school by classmates has revealed how the same guys who teased her now want to date her – after she lost almost half her body weight.
Jackie Campbell, a stay-at-home mom, 26, from Texas, was dubbed a “ whale ” by her classmates and struggled with her weight during her teens and twenties.
After hitting the scales at 260lbs (18st 8lbs), she made the decision to have gastric sleeve surgery and has now lost 126lbs (9st).
Jackie says she has had a lifelong food addiction, which caused her to weigh seven pounds by the time she was eight years old, leading doctors to put her on a diet despite her young age.
Scroll down for video
Jackie Campbell, a stay-at-home mom, 26, from Texas, was dubbed a “ whale ” and “ earthquake ” by her classmates – and weighed seven stone by the time she was only eight, which saw doctors put her on a diet
The way she looks today after gastric sleeve surgery in 2017; after tilting the scale at 18pcs 8lbs, she has now lost 126lbs (9pcs)
‘I was desperate to lose weight but I would spend hours a day looking at myself in the mirror with true hate’ Jackie says food became her obsession and she would eat McDonald’s
She says, ‘I’ve struggled with obesity all my life. When I was eight years old I was sent to a dietitian and from then on I started living my life on a diet.
However, dieting at such a young age had a negative effect on Jackie’s mental health and she began to eat more and more – and in the process developed a fear of starving.
‘I was too young to understand the necessary benefits of visiting a dietitian, so the whole experience took a toll on me. I started to eat emotionally, eat in the cupboard, and I developed a fear of hunger. ‘
Children at school called Jackie a “whale” and cruelly compared her to an “earthquake.”
During her teens, Jackie became withdrawn and began to suffer from body dysmorphism – a hatred for the way she looked in the mirror that would leave her distraught.
She says: “I was desperate to lose weight, but I sat for hours a day looking at myself in the mirror with genuine hatred.
‘I let my weight control and shape in myriad ways to the point that one day I looked around and wondered who the hell this person was and how she got here.
‘At school there were the usual things:’ She’s a whale ‘or’ Here is an earthquake, ‘I said as I walked by. My favorites were “She would be so beautiful if she wasn’t fat” or “She has a pretty face, but …”
To make herself feel better, Jackie comforted the food – repeating the unhealthy cycle she’d fallen into – with McDonald’s burgers and fries as her favorite.
When Jackie turned 22, she weighed 18st 8 pounds and was wearing a size 18 US clothing size (UK size 22) which made her feel depressed and disgusted with herself.
Jackie had always dreamed of being a healthy and active parent, and with a newborn son Lance, now four, she decided to take immediate action.
Classmates would say, ‘She’d be so beautiful if she wasn’t fat,’ or ‘She’s got a pretty face, but …’, leaving Jackie withdrawn
In her early twenties, she had fallen in love with husband Brandon and had her son Lance, now four, but she still ate at her leisure by eating 4,000 calories a day
In 2017, Jackie boarded a plane from Texas to Mexico to undergo vertical sleeve surgery – shrinking her stomach
Over the next two years, Jackie lost exactly half her body weight and now weighs just 130 lbs (9st 4lb) and wears a US size two (UK size six)
After months of failed diets and this never-ending cycle of self-abuse, I felt powerless. I was depressed, angry and lost. I felt worthless, aimless, and just generally disgusted.
My marriage has improved. I am a more active mom and in general I am just happy. I can confidently look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I’m a tough woman …’
“I’ve always had a vision of the kind of mother and wife I dreamed to be, and the kind of lifestyle I wanted to live. My saving grace never lost sight of that vision. ‘
Before her weight loss, Jackie didn’t have a set eating schedule and she snacked on chocolate throughout the day while eating fast food – including burgers, chicken nuggets, and cookies – for lunch and dinner, totaling more than 4,000 calories a day.
She tried to stay active, but without a routine she often stopped.
‘I was just thinking about food and where my next meal would be, but I was never satisfied. I was afraid of putting on clothes and seeing myself in the mirror and eventually resorting to food for comfort, which only made matters worse.
In the aftermath of her surgery, Jackie found it difficult to move from being able to eat whatever she wanted to being physically unable to eat at all, leading to bouts of depression.
She says her ‘marriage has improved. I am a more active mom and in general I am just happy. I can confidently look at myself in the mirror and say, “I’m a tough woman.”
“It would always end with sitting on the closet floor throwing my clothes all over and sobbing. Nothing anyone told me was different or worse than what I had already told myself. ‘
In 2017, Jackie boarded a plane from Texas to Mexico to undergo vertical sleeve surgery in which the stomach is surgically reduced in size to curb a patient’s appetite for weight loss.
Over the next two years, Jackie lost exactly half her body weight and now weighs just 9.4kg and wears a UK size six.
Since her weight loss, Jackie’s life has changed dramatically. Where she once struggled with self-esteem issues, she can now look at herself in the mirror with confidence and pride in what she has accomplished.
Losing weight has changed my life in so many ways. I can view life in a more positive way, which makes even the bad days seem a little brighter, ”says Jackie.
Jackie says she’s finally living the way she feels she should, and hopes she can inspire others to feel the same
‘My marriage has improved. I am a more active mom and overall I am just happy. I can confidently look at myself in the mirror and say, “I’m a tough woman.”
Even though she is married to her high school sweetheart Brandon, 26, Jackie is constantly having men ask her if she’s single both online and in everyday life. Old friends are shocked to see her transformation, while strangers are eager to know how she managed to lose weight and look so good.
WHAT JACKIE USES TO EAT AND WHAT SHE EATS NOW …
Jackie didn’t have a set eating schedule and nibbled chocolate all day long while eating fast food – including burgers, chicken nuggets, and cookies – for lunch and dinner, more than 4,000 calories per day
Breakfast: a protein shake
Supper: Turkey or chicken with vegetables
Total calories: 1,200
Men will often say, ‘Are you single? ‘and I get a lot of comments about my build and fitness. Others ask me how I did it. ‘
Jackie’s journey was not without its challenges. In the aftermath of her surgery, Jackie found it difficult not to be able to eat whatever she wanted, but not be able to eat at all physically.
This led to bouts of depression, but over time Jackie has grown accustomed to her new lifestyle.
“Going from food addiction to not being able to eat much physically was extremely troubling at first, but I’ve gotten used to not relying on food to comfort me.”
Now a typical breakfast consists of a protein shake, followed by a salad for lunch and turkey or chicken with vegetables for dinner with a total of 1,200 calories.
She goes to the gym once or twice a day, up to six times a week.
Jackie hopes her story will inspire others struggling with their weight to take the necessary steps to change their lives for the better.
‘You need to know why you want to change and why you came this way in the first place. I believe that having success and long-term results requires more than just physical change.
‘I feel like I’m finally living like the person I always had to be. The confidence I’ve gained from losing weight has spread my wings. I feel strong, sexy, powerful and limitless. ‘