Tipping the scales at 32 stone and scared of sleeping for fear she'd stop breathing, 28-year-old Ana Sirbu decided that enough was enough. She needed to lose weight.
The pizza chef, who hadn't always been overweight, blamed her hectic lifestyle and 12-hour night shifts for her astounding weight gain, which caused her to dramatically pile on the pounds over a period of five years.
“The funny thing is, I wouldn’t even say that I had an obsession with food or anything like that. I simply ate the wrong things at the wrong time," said Sirbu.
“My weight affected everything in my life. I couldn’t do the housework, I couldn’t even walk to the corner shop to buy a loaf of bread.
"I even got turned down for a job because of my size – the manager telling me that they couldn’t have anyone working in their kitchen as big as me.”
The turning point was when the 28-year-old noticed her health had taken a serious turn for the worst.
"I was so depressed and exhausted, I got to the point where I couldn’t even leave the house. I think the most terrifying point of it all was struggling to breathe," she said.
"At 32 stone, I struggled to sleep, so much so that my boyfriend would have to wake up in the middle of the night just to check that I was still alive. It was a really scary time for everyone.”
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Feeling the pressure to lose weight and become healthier, Sirbu joined a LighterLife weight management programme to help shift the pounds.
The programme involves replacing 'normal eating' with four specially formulated food packs per day.
Members are also encouraged to attend weekly counselling sessions to assess the psychological issues behind over-eating.
Since she started the plan 12 months ago, the chef has lost 19 stone and now weighs just 13 stone.
“Before I lost the weight I felt trapped in my own body – I couldn’t be myself as I couldn’t move or do anything I wanted to do. But now I feel free. I feel like I can do absolutely anything I wasn’t to do and I can be as active as I want," she said.
"I go jogging every day which I absolutely love, I can’t believe that I struggled to even walk around my house before. I go bike riding and I absolutely love to dance.
“The best thing about losing weight is being able to redefine my life. Everything is easier and you are free to do absolutely anything that you want to do."
Since losing the weight Ana has quit her job as a pizza chef and insists she's not worried about finding another.
She added: “I needed to leave my job and make a new start. I feel so powerful and confident that the world is my oyster I can do absolutely anything that I want to do and will find the job of my dreams.”
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