An obese mum who PRETENDED to wear her aeroplane seatbelt for a decade because she was too embarrassed to ask for an extender has now dropped half her body weight.
At her heaviest, Zoe Batchelor tipped the scales at 127kg - while her wardrobe was full to the brim with size 26 clothes.
The 34-year-old from Melbourne, Vic, said she was always ‘in denial’ about her size – even after she had gotten so big that she was unable to do up her aeroplane seatbelt.
And instead of asking a flight attendant for a seatbelt extender, Zoe said she would pretend to have her seatbelt done up properly by hiding it under her stomach – a tactic she relied on for nearly 10 years in order to ‘save embarrassment’.
But now after losing 62kg and dropping seven dress sizes, the mum-of-two can easily do up her aeroplane seatbelt with plenty of room to spare – adding that that she can now travel stress-free thanks to her brand new 65kg, svelte size 10 physique.
The patient liaison officer said: “I first realised that my seatbelt wouldn’t do up on a domestic flight to Perth back in 2008. I was mortified and couldn’t believe that I had gotten that big.
“I was far too embarrassed to ask for a seatbelt extender. I didn’t want to draw that kind of attention to myself and did not want everyone looking at me in pity.
“I’d usually just hide it under my stomach, or I would have one of my children on my lap, so the flight attendants couldn’t see. I always found a way around it and never got caught.
Zoe said she began piling on weight in her late teens – around the same time she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which can cause weight gain.
The mum added that she would eat unhealthy fast food most days due to the convenience of going through the drive-through of her locals McDonald’s, KFC or Hungry Jacks – and would usually eat the meals in her car alone.
Zoe said she would always be trying out different diets in an effort to budge the fat but felt defeated after having ‘absolutely zero success’ with any of them – despite sticking to the food plans religiously.
The mum said she had almost given up on trying to lose weight altogether when a friend recommended, she have a look into the benefits of weight loss surgery.
And after consulting with her doctor, Zoe went under the knife in March 2017 to have gastric sleeve surgery – which the mum said was the ‘best decision’ she has ever made.
Zoe said her husband Paul, 38, was a huge support through her entire journey – while adding that the main motivation for her to lose weight was so she could be the best mother possible for her children Paityn, seven, and Ziva, three.
And now that she is 62kg lighter and has dropped an incredible seven dress sizes, Zoe said shopping for clothes has become an ‘amazing experience’ - with the mum feeling confident enough to wear miniskirts and shorts for the first time in her life.
Zoe now never needs to worry about getting caught without her seatbelt done up on an aeroplane ever again.
“I’m a completely different person now after losing the weight and I couldn’t be happier," she says.
Mid-morning Snack: Packet of chips.
Lunch: Usually fast food meals going through the drive through.
Afternoon snack: Chocolate
Dinner: Big portions of home-cooked meals such as lasagna.
Dessert: Ice cream or chocolate.
Breakfast: Iced coffee with protein powder, porridge or yoghurt.
Mid-morning Snack: Fruit, boiled egg or cheese.
Lunch: Mini wrap toasted with ham, cheese and quince paste.
Afternoon snack: Protein bar or a protein shake.
Dinner: Whatever her family eats but a small amount which focuses on protein and vegetables.