Weighing in at 375 pounds was enough for Kayla Butcher to make dramatic changes to the way she was living her life. Already on the heavier side by her 8th birthday, the Canadian says she was raised in what she called a “sick home” filled with junk foods.
Now 24 years old and down to 187 pounds, Kayla has never been happier, or healthier. But as she explains, there is one thing holding her back: the folds of excess skin hanging from her stomach, arms, and legs.
"Everything is loose, saggy, wrinkly, and deflated," she tells Cosmopolitan of the near 22 pounds of skin she physically cannot shift through diet or exercise.
"It hangs and moves around, and it makes me look and feel way bigger than I truly am."
It wasn’t always this way for Kayla; she says she was an active child, who loved athletics, playing volleyball, and hitting it out with her softball team. But after she was diagnosed with depression at the age of 14, she says that she began eating food as a way to escape.
"People like to say I made the choice to be fat on my own, [but] this was definitely not a choice of mine," Kayla says before explaining how her “toxic” family life affected her health.
"There were drug dependencies and addiction, as well as far too many issues between my parents that they did not keep from the kids."
After gaining 143 pounds in her first year of college, Kayla made the decision to undergo a publicly-funded gastric bypass. While it was by no means a quick and easy procedure to undertake--a 13-month plan had to be put in place before she could take part in the surgery--Kayla said it was worth it in the long run.
“February 8th, 2016. The day my life started again!” she shared in an Instagram post marking one year since her operation.
“I have lost [176 pounds]! But I have gained so much more. I have so much energy and confidence. I smile far more than I frown...I am still 100 percent a work in progress, as we all should be!"
“I am a better version of the amazing woman I was at [375 pounds]," she continued. "I am and was always worth it. I was not less worthy or deserving of respect. We are all human, battling our own problems.”
It’s been an amazing transformation both physically and emotionally for Kayla, but the self-dubbed “apron” of skin left behind is the only thing left hindering her confidence, particularly in the bedroom.
"I am more self-conscious now at [187 pounds] naked than I ever was at [375 pounds]," she said. "I look and feel like a balloon that has lost all of its air a week after a party."
These pants are a size 14 and they are too big on me! It is unreal to me. I honestly cannot remember the last time I fit in size 14 pants was. A year ago inwas wearing 5x or size 32. Imagine if my "apron" was gone! I thought that this was impossible, but anything is possible if you set your mind to it! Next chapter is working on the loose skin! These are hard to share but important to share! I know how helpful and inspirational other women and men who did the same were for me on this journey! Nothing but love from this funky haired lady 😚 #gastricbypass #weightloss #mermaid #mermaidhair #manicpanic #greeneyes #extremeweightloss #wlstories #fattofit #fitfam #rouxeny #wlscommunity #rny #rnycrew #bariatricsurgery #bariatricbabe #wlssisters #wls #tlcskintight #skintight #skintighttlc #happy #healthy #happygirl #loveyourself #bodypositive #changes
She now plans to undergo a skin-removal procedure, but as it’s considered cosmetic, it won’t be covered by the Canadian healthcare system.
We wish Kayla the best on her journey to her best health!
This post was written by Katie Skelly. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.