Most days we watch as the number on the scales creeps higher, as opposed to lower. Which is understandable when you consider that the modern day human’s life is ruled by fast food and convenient television dinners.
In this fast-paced world a balanced diet is often unattainable, so we make do with microwavable meals and a token piece of fruit. Sometimes we surprise ourselves with a homemade creation, but ultimately we are governed by our desire to spend less time cooking and more time eating. We tell ourselves that this approach to food is okay, as long as we don’t over indulge and balloon in weight. We comfort ourselves with the fact that we are not considered clinically ‘fat’ and thus one more chocolate biscuit won’t hurt. We pity those who are morbidly overweight and question how they could possibly have got so such a grotesque size, as we smugly devour a sharing bag of Doritos. However, the fact is that those who are shockingly overweight are just like you and me. One day they were looking at pictures of dangerously overweight people with bewilderment, the next they were that person. One person who knows this only too well is Amber Rachdi. The 23-year-old from Oregon weighed 660lbs before choosing to dramatically shed over HALF of her body weight… Amber’s shocking story came to the public attention in 2015, when she featured on ‘My 600lb Life’, where she nervously admitted that she had a problem. At 660lbs (47 stone) Amber was dangerously overweight and at risk of not making it to her 30th birthday. Housebound and unable to walk, Amber was miserable. What little movement she did have was restricted to a mobility scooter. To make matters worse, Amber was surrounded by textbook “enablers” in the form of her parents and boyfriend. Together they pushed large quantities of food in front of Amber, for varying motives. Her mother fed Amber because she saw how food comforted her daughter’s anxiety. Meanwhile, her boyfriend fed her due to his preference for “bigger women”. But, Amber was tired of living a restricted life. So she chose to take drastic action in order to streamline her body… Amber pleaded with the resident surgeon on the show to help her with a gastric bypass. Initially reluctant, the surgeon requested that Amber lose 20lbs before he could consider qualifying her for the operation. Desperate to be approved, Amber lost 17lbs over the course of three months by eating healthier meal options – while her boyfriend stuffs fast food feasts directly in front of her. The surgeon eventually agreed to admit her for the surgery, which she undergoes successfully. In the year following the operation, Amber lost 267lbs, which almost halved her body weight. Combined with a radically healthier diet and regular exercise, Amber’s weight has further plummeted. “I think mostly what it [gastric bypass] does is buy an overweight person time to learn new habits, get into therapy, and learn to make better choices on their own,” she explained of her success story. Amber has now gathered 70,000 followers on Instagram, all desperate to join in on her remarkable journey. Many ask her questions about the process, which she kindly answers while refusing to offer assistance with regard to diet plans.
“It breaks my heart how many folks are coming to me with weight-related health concerns and stories of their struggles. I resonate so deeply with the fears and feelings of shame people carry to me. But, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or a health educator. My path isn’t made to be replicated or emulated.”
“I can’t offer real advice about diet or exercise beyond this: Talk to your doctor. Talk to a nutritionist. Measure and track what you eat HONESTLY for at least a week beforehand. Find an accountability buddy. Reach out. You deserve both personal and professional allies!”
It cannot be denied that she looks sensational now, having had the courage to make a change in her life. It certainly wasn’t easy, but she accomplished something pretty special! Gastric bypass surgery is a popular choice for those aiming to lose a large quantity of weight. Rumors have it that Rob Kardashian even indulged in the surgery to help him slim his figure down last year…
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