A woman who called food ‘the demon on her shoulder’ has revealed how she has transformed her 322lb (23st) frame to a slimmer 180lbs (12st 8) – but only after major surgery to shrink her stomach and then cut away 42lb (3st) of loose skin.
Mother-of-one Amanda Roberts 23, from Temecula, California, once lived a sedentary lifestyle and ate mostly takeaways and junk food, leading to her tipping the scales at 322lb (23st) by the age of just 20.
The self-confessed food addict decided enough was enough after giving birth to her young daughter Talia and being unable to keep up with the energetic tot when she started walking.
Amanda Roberts was delighted to lose nearly ten stone after undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2014. However, she couldn’t afford a second operation to remove 42lb (3st) of loose skin, so turned to crowd-funding to fund the surgery
Roberts, from Temecula, California, after the gastric bypass operation. While the pounds quickly fell off, she was left with a ‘puddle’ of loose skin on her stomach, arms and legs
After undergoing the bypass surgery three years ago, she went on to lose 140lb (10st) and was initially delighted with her lighter frame…but hated the ‘puddle’ of loose skin she had been left with around her waist.
Amanda, who lives with her ‘supportive’ fiance Brice Simmons, explains how she descended into obesity: ‘I was addicted to eating food, I would have takeaways, burgers, cakes, chocolate, my eating was completely out of control.’
She adds: ‘When Talia started walking, I could barely keep up with her. I had such intense back pains from my weight that I could barely carry her, and even just playing on the ground with her exhausted me.
‘I knew that I’d have to get my health on track if I wanted to be the best mom I could be for her.’
‘My medical insurance covered the $9,000 (£6,166) for my gastric band, and since then I have had to change my diet.’
There are few photos of Amanda with her young daughter Talia when she was a baby, because Amanda says she was so afraid of her seeing what she actually looked like. Right: Talia and her mother today; the pair regularly enjoy active exercise together
Roberts says she learned to love her body every size it has been but is delighted that she can follow a healthy diet and be more active
Images show Roberts at her biggest size after she would do little exercise and gorge on unhealthy foods. Right, showing the full ‘puddle’ of skin that Roberts was left with post surgery
Of the loose skin she was left with, she said before her latest surgery: ‘When I take my clothes off, my skin looks like a puddle around me like it’s trying to melt off.
‘Some days I look in the mirror and I don’t feel human because of the skin, but then I realise, it’s these imperfections that make me human.’
Amanda set up an Instagram page to document her weightless journey in 2014 to help inspire others to ditch their unhealthy habits.
She says she was determined to have a second operation to remove the loose flesh that she’d been left with but couldn’t afford the $10,000 price tag.
Kindness of strangers: Roberts used her Instagram profile – she has 66,000 followers – to help fund her second operation
After asking people to donate, Roberts was delighted that strangers contributed to the next step on her weight-loss journey
Amanda, pictured with her fiancé, Brice Simmons and daughter Talia. Roberts says Brice has been very supportive throughout her weight-loss journey
After using her profile to launch a fundraising campaign to raise $10000 (£7,740), Amanda eventually hit her target and began to undergo skin removing procedures to get rid of the excess.
Earlier this year, she had a fleur de lis tummy tuck where they removed 16lbs of skin from her stomach and now weighs 180lbs (12.8 st) and says she’s never felt better.
The mother-of-one is now heading to Tijuana, Mexico in October where she will get her arms, back and breasts treated to hopefully put an end to the rashes and sores that are caused from the loose skin.
She explains: ‘I have worked hard to change my entire lifestyle. I went from eating junk food and living a very sedentary life, to now eating a high protein, low-carb diet and working out 5-6 days a week.’
But after losing so much weight in just 18-months, the mother of three-year-old Talia (pictured before and after her weightloss) has been left with 42lb (3st) worth of excess skin hanging from her stomach, legs and arms
Amanda, pictured before and after her weight-loss, set up an Instagram page to document her weightless journey in 2014 to help inspire others to ditch their unhealthy habits
While Amanda says her fast-food days are firmly behind her, she’s delighted that she can finally run around and have fun with Talia.
‘I will always be addicted to eating food but now I make the right choices such as vegetables and fruit and because of my gastric band it is impossible for me to over eat.
‘I can no longer gorge on takeaways but I’m finally able to play with my daughter without getting out of breath.’