An obese woman who was forced to wear maternity clothes due to her size has shed half her body weight in a jaw-dropping transformation.
At just 18 years old, Melissa Mouawad was forced to wear size 24 maternity clothes as they were the only outfits that fit her dangerously obese 135kg frame.
But the inspirational 29-year-old from Sydney is now healthier than ever after overhauling her diet and shedding 65kg and dropping six dress sizes.
The executive assistant is now completely unrecognisable and more confident than ever flaunting her brand new 70kg svelte size 10 figure.
Melissa said: ‘I would have to buy maternity clothes as they were the only pieces that would fit.
‘They had the big elastic band in the waist. It was the only way I could be comfortable.
‘It’s embarrassing to think about, but I had no other choice.
‘I’ve always been obsessed with food and as a child would often sneak treats from the kitchen into my bedroom, so I could eat it later on.
‘I’d binge on a dozen donuts, fast food, blocks of chocolate and soft drinks each night.
‘It wasn’t until doctors warned that I could have a heart attack any moment and was on the brink of developing diabetes that I realised I needed to change my ways.
‘I was so frightened and from that moment I decided to change my lifestyle.
‘I began working out in the gym and monitoring my diet, from there the weight began falling off.’
Melissa admits that it was ‘incredibly difficult’ at first to lose weight due to her total lack of knowledge about health and fitness.
After years of trying countless different diets and exercise regimens that caused her weight to fluctuate, she wasn’t sure how she’d ever manage to slim down.
But motivated Melissa said she finally found the perfect health plan for weight loss five years ago when she began counting her calories and monitoring her carbohydrate, protein and fat intake.
She now practices intermittent fasting along with a healthy high-protein diet full of healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Melissa works out six days per week for an hour, with a major focus on weight lifting to tone her physique along with some cardio to stay healthy.
And she even got married to the love of her life Edward Mouawad, 30, in June last year – tying the knot with her ‘dream body’ fitting into an elegant size 10 wedding dress.
‘I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, and I can’t believe my body can move the way it does now.
‘My life has completely changed. I feel like a totally different person now to who I was ten years ago.
‘Not only do I look so different, but my personality has changed so much for the better. I used to be really shy, timid and not want anyone to see me.
‘But now I have more confidence, I’m outgoing and I’m just happy and loving life.
‘It felt amazing to throw out all my old maternity clothes. Now I can shop wherever I want and I’m able to have a lot more style and fashion sense than I ever did before.
‘I think losing the weight gradually has really helped me to keep it off. It’s been far more sustainable.
‘You have to want it really bad and just stay focused on your goals and happiness.
‘Losing the weight was the best decision I ever made and now I feel like I’m really living my life.’
Breakfast: Thick cut raisin toast with butter or Banana Bread with butter
Morning Snack: Muesli bar
Lunch: McDonalds or pasta
Afternoon Snack: Chocolate
Dinner: Takeout food usually McDonalds or Hungry Jacks
Dessert: Block of Chocolate and a tub of icecream
Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs & an almond milk latte
Mid morning snack: Apple
Lunch: Vegetable soup
Afternoon snack: Quest Protein Bar
Dinner: Large salad filled with vegetables, lean proteins, fats such a olive oil, avocado and seeds.
Dessert: Full cream Chobani yoghurt with blueberries or Halo Top