She may have a larger than life personality, but Chiara is almost half the size she used to be!
The outspoken House Rules contestant reveals exclusively to New Idea that she lost more than 50kg after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery.
‘My highest weight when I was pregnant was 114 kilos,’ the 32-year-old mum says. ‘When I had my surgery, I dropped more than 50 kilos and I got to 60.9 kilos.’
Five years ago, the Perth hairdresser made the difficult decision.
‘It got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore,’ Chiara explains. ‘I grew up my whole life with my weight being such an issue that I didn’t want the rest of my life to be like that. One of my friends had had it done. I didn’t want it to consume my life anymore.’
Proud husband David, who has also shed an impressive 25kg in the past few years, says he just wanted Chiara to be happy.
‘We did everything before we went down the surgery route,’ David, 38, says. ‘We did shake diets, we went vegetarian, we tried all sorts of things!
‘I saw how upset she was getting and I just said: “Let’s do this.”’
In more than $20,000 of credit card debt already, the couple decided to take money from Chiara’s superannuation to pay for the costly procedure, which dramatically reduces the size of your stomach.
‘We didn’t have enough money to do it obviously,’ she reveals. ‘Out of pocket it was close to $5000, not to mention paying for top cover health insurance!’
While Chiara says her life now is ‘100 times better’, undergoing surgery wasn’t the easy way out.
‘When I first had the surgery, I was kicking myself, thinking: “What the hell have I done?” Because I couldn’t eat,’ she says. ‘I would be chock a block full from half a sandwich and I was like: “So what’s there to do now?” I couldn’t even enjoy food anymore.’
David adds: ‘Chiara and I comfort eat, we sit down and we eat together, that’s how we cope.’
Losing weight has completely overhauled the busy mum’s life and is the reason the married couple are competing on House Rules.
‘If I never had that surgery, I would never have entered this competition,’ Chiara states. ‘I would never have had the confidence. I feel like a weight has been lifted, no pun intended.
‘Going clothes shopping now, I don’t have to worry if it’s going to fit.’
Smiling at his wife, David says: ‘The moment Chiara had the surgery, everything settled down and I noticed there was a lot more confidence back in my wife.’
For the full story, and more House Rules exclusives, see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!