‘I felt like a monster’: Mother-of-three who lost 156lbs reveals how she was left feeling ‘disfigured’ by her 12lbs of excess skin – until she won a contest to have it removed
- Amanda Nauffts, 36, weighed 330lbs at her heaviest point
- After deciding to get healthy, she had gastric bypass surgery and dramatically changed her diet and lifestyle
- She lost 156lbs after the surgery, but had pounds of excess skin hanging off her stomach
- Amanda thought it would take years to save up for the skin’s removal but she won a contest for a free procedure
- She has continued to lose weight since her surgery in May
A Toronto mother-of-three said that she felt like a ‘monster’ after her impressive weight loss left her with pounds of saggy, excess skin — and finally having it removed changed her life.
Amanda Nauffts, 36, tipped the scales at 330lbs at her heaviest point, after piling on the pounds in her twenties and giving birth to twins.
Following gastric bypass surgery last January, she lost 156lbs — but her skin had been stretched beyond its limit, and continued to droop off her body even after she shed the weight.
Transformation: Amanda Nauffts, 36, has lost a total of 156lbs
Unhealthy: The Toronto, Canada mother had weighed 330lbs at her heaviest point
Not done: Yet even after losing all the weight, she still had pounds of excess skin hanging off her body
Amanda said she struggled with her weight for a long time.
‘I always had a big belly and I never felt womanly or attractive,’ she said. ‘It held me back from a lot of things — I was wanting to swim with my kids or do activities in the park but I couldn’t. I was devastated, embarrassed, and I felt shamed.’
But she had an ‘ah-ha’ moment one day at her heaviest weight, 330lbs, and she realized it was impacting her health — and the image her kids had of her.
‘I was trying to put on some socks and my hips and knees were hurting, and I was huffing and puffing and struggling,’ she said. ‘I looked up and saw my five-year-old daughter with her big brown eyes looking at me and I was like, “This is who my kids aspire to be like.”
‘I asked them to go downstairs and cried my eyes out,’ she went on. ‘I decided in that moment I had had enough. I was waking up every single day and I felt like death was knocking on the door — it was the impending doom of death.’
Lifestyle change: She had gastric bypass surgery to kickstart the weight loss and shifted to a healthier diet
Sticking to it: Amanda had to stick to a strict diet because the procedure leaves patients with a walnut-sized stomach pouch, meaning they physically cannot eat much food
Not fair: But the excess skin left her feel ‘disfigured’ and ‘like a monster’
She had gastric bypass surgery in January 2017, after which she ditched her pizza- and pasta-heavy diet and hit the gym seven times a week.
Amanda had to stick to a strict diet because the procedure leaves patients with a walnut-sized stomach pouch, meaning they physically cannot eat much food.
She went on to lose 156lbs — but despite that incredible accomplishment, she wasn’t feeling better about herself.
‘My face showed that I had lost a lot of weight but I still felt 330lbs. I didn’t feel beautiful,’ she said. ‘I had a lot of excess skin that hung half way down my thighs.
‘I felt like a monster. I felt disfigured. I had put in hours and hours of work, like a year of extreme, hard work, and I still had to hide my body still with shame.
The dental hygienist began saving for a tummy tuck but feared she wouldn’t be able to afford the $14,000 to $18,000 procedure ‘for a decade’. So she was overjoyed when, in March, she learned she had won the procedure for free after entering a competition on Instagram, where she is a member of the online weight loss community.
Tough road: She thought it would take her years to save up to have the skin removed
Yes! Luckily, she won a free tummy tuck and is thrilled with the results
Hero: She is especially happy that her kids have someone to look up to now
She underwent the surgery on May 22 and had 12.5lbs of saggy skin removed.
Though her stomach remains is slightly swollen following the operation, she said she now feels beautiful when she looks in the mirror, and now weighs just 155lbs.
‘I went out shopping and got sexy underwear for the first time in my adult life,’ she said. ‘It’s a different life. My energy has skyrocketed and I look in the mirror and I feel beautiful.’
Before her transformation, Amanda, who is married to a 35-year-old self-employed contractor named Mario Daurte, would drink full-fat soda, gorge on sugary cereal for breakfast, and grab takeout for lunch.
She would cook dinner for her six-year-old son Sergio and five-year-old twins Noah and Sophia, but after they went to sleep, she would order pizza for herself.
Now, however, she eats eggs for breakfast and opts for vegetable and protein-heavy meals for lunch and dinner.
She has continued to stick to her healthier lifestyle, and since the tummy tuck has lost an additional 19lbs.
‘It has changed my life completely,’ Amanda, who documents her journey on Instagram under the handle @amandajean_rny, said. ‘My daughter wants to be like me now.’