Beautiful brunette’s extreme weight loss
A beautiful brunette is raising money to have her excess skin removed after extreme weight loss left her with a ‘body of a 90-year-old’.
Dionne Gomez, 28, from Chicago, USA, always embracing her curves until realising, last year, her 300lbs (21 st. 6lbs) frame was affecting her health.
When she was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and sleep apnoea in 2015, Dionne decided to get a vertical sleeve gastrectomy after other weight loss attempts failed.
By restricting her stomach size, the surgery forced her to limit food intake as overeating could cause her to vomit.
The determined dieter took up running, working her way up from 5k to a half marathon in September.
And in just 12 months, Dionne lost a staggering 130lbs (9st 4lbs) dropping to 170lbs (12st 2lbs).
However, she was left with loose skin that caused rashes on her body.
Dionne is raising money through crowdrise: dionnes-skin-removal-surgery-after-extreme-weight-loss to have an anchor breast lift with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
Dionne, a communication consultant, said: “The surgery was a tool to help me change my lifestyle – it was about health not about being skinny.
“I’ve always been a larger girl and I had always loved the way I look.
“I am part Puerto Rican and in my culture, you’re expected to eat a lot, otherwise it’s disrespectful if you didn’t go for seconds.
“We always embraced being big.
“I’m more insecure now than when I was larger – I knew my body and I liked being large .
“I am still learning this new body.
“They did warn that excess skin was a possible but I thought that at my age my skin would just bounce back.
“I have it all around my body, from my neck down – it looks like a 90 year old’s body.
“There’s a lot of sagging skin on my breast you can pull.”
In 2015, after many failed diet attempts, Dionne decided to use weight loss surgery as a tool to help kick-start her health.
She said: “When I was 26, I realised it started to hinder my ability to do things.
“I was pre-diabetic and I had sleep apnoea and a lot of problem with my ankles.
“For years before that I had tried other diets – things worked for a bit then stopped working.
“I was overeating, I would eat three plates of food and not even realise.”
Once Dionne had saved enough money, insurance paid the rest as it classed as medical.
She said: “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.
“The first few weeks you can only eat puree food.
“If you eat too quickly you throw up. You still have all these cravings so I had to trick myself into eating less.”
By restricting her calories and working out four times a week, Dionne no longer has pre-diabetes, sleep apnoea or joint pains.
She said: “I used to say ‘I can’t do this – I am too large.’ I noticed that was often my attitude but now I believe in challenging myself.
“I actually don’t like running but my friends helped me do my first 5k, which led up to my first half marathon this summer.
“The feeling of finishing was beyond amazing. So now I am hoping to do a full marathon.
“You also notice lots of little things too like I went down a whole shoe size and I had to buy a whole new wardrobe.
“I travel for work, I used to struggle to fit on the seat so the first time I did up my seat belt and there was room, I cried.”
In July, Dionne decided to get her excess skin removed and is hoping to raise the $18,000 needed for the op by next year.
She said: “The skin didn’t bother me until it started giving me rashes.
“And it was affecting my relationship as I was not uncomfortable with my sagging skin.
“My boyfriend loves me at any size but I am the one finding it hard.”
Dionne also admitted that her family also found the change hard.
She said: “It was hard for my family. I had to bring a baby plate to Christmas.
“At first as they didn’t understand why I wanted to lose weight.
“They saw me shrinking and thought I was making myself sick.
“They were concerned but now they see I am healthy they have started incorporating healthy food with their meals.
“My mother when she cooks my favourite dish will alter it to make it more healthy.”
Dionne hopes to educate people about weight loss surgery through her blog: https://healthynotskinnyblog.wordpress.com/
She added: “I debated for a while whether to make it make it public.
“I knew a lot people had a bad opinion about the surgery and I wanted to educate people.
“People think it’s an easy way out which isn’t true. It’s a lifelong commitment and you have to be so disciplined.”