A mother-of-two from Melbourne who would eat until she felt sick managed to lose half her body weight in a year.
Maria Kairouz, 36, tipped the scales at 107 kilos when the continuous rupture of the disc in her lower back gave her the wake up call she needed.
The mother spoke to FEMAIL about her incredible weight loss – as well as revealing her simple tricks which helped her to shed half of her body weight.
These include limiting her sugar to just five grams a day, shopping in the outer aisles of the supermarket and snacking on natural yoghurt.
A mother-of-two from Melbourne, Maria Kairouz, (pictured left and right) who would eat until she felt sick managed to lose 47 kilos in a year
Speaking of her life before she lost weight, Maria said:
‘I would have friends where we would sit down and eat a hundred dollars worth of Maccas together,’ Maria told FEMAIL.
‘Before I started the journey I would never think about what I ate, I’d eat KFC and Maccas just because I drove past it.
‘I’d have three meals if I wanted to, if I was stressed out I would eat a whole bag of mini Picnics because they tasted better than the regular ones.’
Maria tipped the scales at 107 kilos when the continuous rupture of the disc in her lower back gave her the wake up call she needed
‘With my sometimes extreme nature I thought that the joy of food was in my control and I would enjoy food till I was sick of it,’ Maria said.
‘It became compulsive at some points in my life depending on my state of mind.
‘It was a warped perception of ‘I can do what I want to do and no one can stop me’ – I needed to shed that emotional toxicity.’
‘It wasn’t that I didn’t have the control, it was because I could have control and that it was my choice what I ate, my choice when I ate it and I was able to dictate it,’ she added.
She explained that it was often enforced by family and friends that ‘food was everything’ and it played a big part of their social occasions
It was when Maria hit rock bottom both emotionally and physically that she was forced to reassess her life.
Maria has now lost 47 kilos and said her weight hovers between 59 and 62 kilos.
Not only this, but she has learned to listen to her stomach signals.
‘When I say I enjoyed pizza, I wouldn’t be satisfied with one slice, it was until my stomach couldn’t take anymore,’ she said of life beforehand.
‘I identified food from a young age, as a cultural expression, as a joyous experience and if you wanted to connect with that joy food was a centre point of it.
Maria explained that it was often enforced by family and friends that ‘food was everything’ and it played a big part of their social occasions.
Speaking about how she achieved her incredible weight loss, Maria said: ‘I thought, ‘if I think I’m in control then how can I turn it into a different and healthier form of control? How can I make food medicine?”.
Maria said that although she was taught to eat well and plant based foods were often encouraged, her unhealthy relationship still managed to develop
Although she used to eat meat and dairy, now Maria follows a vegan diet and only allows herself five grams of sugar a day.
‘I now know the importance of not snacking after seven. Natural yoghurts have great probiotics so I supplement that or have vegan coconut yoghurt and substitute other things.
‘I’ve healed my own physical ailments through food,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I shop on the outside aisles and looking at the ingredients in bread and have reeducated myself around food.’
It was when Maria hit rock bottom both emotionally and physically that she was forced to reassess her life
Maria also makes sure to go to the gym at least four times a week for an hour each time
On top of this Maria also makes sure to go to the gym at least four times a week for an hour each time.
‘When I sat with the neurosurgeon and he asked me my age and he was dumbfounded, it made me realise I’ve had no accountability for my own health.
‘It catapulted me into a deep and dark sadness about how did I get there? I was stuck in bed thinking about what the next step was going to be.’
She said that she completely changed her lifestyle as she knew that something had to give.
‘It was never about the number, it was about being accountable and researching everything I put in my body. It was about reeducating myself.’
Although her back injury is still there, her back became stronger though core work and she said the approach she has taken has healed her mind, body and soul.
Maria said that she completely changed her lifestyle as she knew something had to give
‘What I’ve learnt in a year and a half is the power of the human spirit. If you bundle all of the trauma and all of your experiences together you can make something out of it.
‘It wasn’t the weight that held me back, it was the disconnect that held me back.
‘It’s about accountability and self worth, I deserve to be healthy.’
Now Maria is a self employed woman with a new lease on life who makes healthy pro-nut balls for her company Wholesense, which she says is a great experience that is a part of her own personal journey.