A woman who struggled with her weight throughout her life turned to comfort eating when her classmates called her a “whale” in high school. Her weight eventually spiraled up to a staggering 260 pounds (approx. 118 kg).
However, after becoming a mother, she decided to lose weight, and since undergoing weight-loss surgery, she has shed almost half her weight.
“I have always had a vision of the kind of mom and wife I dreamed to be, and the kind of lifestyle I wanted to live,” Jackie Campbell, 26, said, according to The Daily Mail. “My saving grace was never losing sight of that vision.”
Life was not always this easy for the stay-at-home from Texas. When she was 8 years old, Jackie weighed 98 pounds (approx. 44.4 kg) and was sent to a dietician; but the experience just made her feel worse.
“I was too young to understand the necessary benefits of visiting a dietician so the whole experience had a negative impact on me,” said Jackie. “I began emotional eating, closet eating, and I developed a fear of hunger. All I thought about was food and where my next meal would be, but I was never satisfied.”
At school, classmates bullied her, calling her a “whale,” and sometimes passing comments such as “here comes an earthquake,” or “she would be so pretty if she wasn’t fat.”
Following this, her unhealthy eating habits continued to snowball—with burgers and fries from McDonald’s topping the list. By this time, she had also become her own biggest critic and suffered from body dysmorphia.
Jackie was binge eating an estimated 4,000 calories a day, resorting to chocolate throughout the day whilst eating fast food—including burgers, chicken nuggets, and cookies—for lunch and dinner.
By the age of 22, she weighed a whopping 260 pounds, had lost confidence in herself, and was “disgusted” with her own appearance. However, becoming a mom to her newborn son Lance inspired her to make some changes to her lifestyle, as she wanted to be an active and healthy mom.
In 2017, she went to Mexico to undergo a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure to help with weight loss in which the stomach is surgically reduced in size to restrict the appetite. After the surgery, it was an adjustment to relearn how to eat, she said, and the process left her feeling depressed for many days. Eventually, however, she grew to love her new lifestyle.
In the following two years, Jackie lost half of her body weight and her current weight is now 130 pounds (approx. 59 kg).
“Losing weight has changed my life in so many ways. I am able to view life in a more positive way, making even the bad days seem a little brighter,” said Jackie. “My marriage has improved. I am a more active mom and overall, I’m just happy.
“I can confidently look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I am a badass woman.’”
Her diet now comprises a protein shake for breakfast; a salad, ideally, for lunch; and turkey or chicken for dinner. In total, she now consumes close to 1,200 calories a day. She also hits the gym almost six times a week.
The confident mom also shares her fitness journey with her nearly 2,000 followers on Instagram, who are astounded by the contrast in her journey.
“I feel like my starting point is where you were in your start picture,” wrote one user. “I’m so tired of being this way. How did you do it? You look stunning so congratulations.”
“You’re my inspiration!” said another. “So gorgeous! How can I do the same?”
Jackie hopes that by sharing her story, others will be inspired to begin their own transformational journey.
“You need to know why you want to change and why you got this way in the first place,” she said. “I believe to have success and long-term results, more than just a physical change needs to occur. Strive for internal change and the physical benefits will come.”