24-year-old Mary Maxwell lost her dad to cancer before she was born, then at two-years-old she lost her mother to a sudden heart attack caused by morbid obesity. The punches didn’t stop coming though, as her aunt also passed away at the age of 26, again due to obesity-related causes. You’d think that after having lost two family members to a completely preventable disease would’ve inspired Mary to become a star track athlete, however that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You see, Mary says that food became her “best friend and also my worst enemy.” Some people use food for fuel whereas others use it to cope with feelings that they’re not ready to face head-on, and by the time Mary was 19 she was reportedly 315 pounds:
She says she was ‘heavily bullied’ as a teen. ‘Adults would gossip about me, ‘forget’ to invite me to work gatherings and I even noticed it in clothing stores,’ she remembers.
‘I would walk in and magically all of the sales associates would disappear.’
But, after meeting her boyfriend Josh Harper, she realised she wanted to build a future with him, and, to do that, she had to get help.(via)
Luckily for Mary, “help” came in the form of a gastric bypass just days prior to her 21st birthday. Four years later she’s down 165 pounds and now only weighs 150, less than half of what she started out at before surgery.
‘It has in no way been an easy journey for me,’ she explains. ‘Over the first 8 months after my surgery, I had multiple complications and had 2 major stomach surgeries.’
… ‘I still struggle with my looks (even at my thinnest), I still struggle with relationships, I still struggle with my mindset and my confidence. Losing weight is not only a physical transformation but a mental one in which I struggle with on a daily basis.’(via)
However, unlike many weight loss success stories on Instagram, Mary elected to show the truth about what happens to your body after dramatic weight loss. It’s not pretty nor is it fun to look at, but at the same time it takes some serious balls to show people what reality is and how addictions in any form (food, drugs, etc.) can come at a price:
Despite being unable to afford the surgery required to remove her excess skin (you can donate to her GoFundMe HERE if you like), Mary is still continuing to lose weight, and judging from her progress photos girl is killing it: