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Woman Loses Over 200 Pounds After Medical Diagnosis, Blows Us Away With Her Perseverance
Tess Fitzgerald
Physical Health

Woman Loses Over 200 Pounds After Medical Diagnosis, Blows Us Away With Her Perseverance

Tess Fitzgerald was eight when she met with a nutritionist for the first time. She weighed 154 pounds.tess-fitzgerald

She was advised to add more vegetables to her diet and eat fewer processed carbs.

All throughout childhood, Fitzgerald struggled with losing weight, despite her best efforts and soon, she’d find out why.

At 14, she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that can lead to weight gain. Fitzgerald couldn’t take the medication prescribed to treat her insulin resistance because it made her sick. Feeling depressed and discouraged, she turned food to cope.

RELATED: The Power of Reframing: How To Use Depression to Improve Your Life

By the time she graduated high school, Fitzgerald weighed 330 pounds and felt hopeless. "I was ashamed and embarrassed by my body. I wanted to hide from the world," she told POPSUGAR.

Feeling like something had to change once and for all

In her first year of college, Fitzgerald reached 347 pounds and was reminded of it every time she’d have to squeeze into a lecture hall seat. She was becoming increasingly uncomfortable physically and emotionally.

"I felt miserable. In February of 2015, I decided that in order to change my life. I needed to do something drastic."

With the encouragement and support of her family, Fitzgerald decided to undergo gastric sleeve surgery. Before undergoing procedure, she participated in a program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to help her lose weight.

By the time of the surgery, Fitzgerald lost 40 pounds, down to 307.

Her post-op diet was high-protein, low-carb with lots of fruits and vegetables, which helped her continue to lose weight.

It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle

She was starting to feel better but knew she had to find a way to add exercise into her routine if she wanted to keep seeing positive results. While she struggled at first to get moving, Fitzgerald lost over 150 pounds just in the first six months after the surgery.

Fast-forward a year and nine months later, she overhauled her diet and was exercising regularly, and hit her lowest weight of 134 pounds.

Fitzgerald was incredibly proud of how far she’d come but was growing uncomfortable because of her loose skin. Last January, she underwent a 9.5 hour surgery to remove 5 pounds of loose skin.

With her confidence restored, Tess has been documenting her journey on her Instagram account fittessfitness. Serving as an inspiration for others is what keeps her motivated.

"Don't be afraid to start your journey. Loose skin can always be fixed. Believe in yourself,” she said.

"Always dare to dream, never lose sight of yourself, and remember why you started!"

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