36-year-old Rosie Mercado saw her weight peak at 410 pounds back in 2011, and while most would realize long before then that their diet would need reworking, it took an airline stewardess telling her that she needed to buy a second seat on an airplane before Rosie started hitting the gym. At first, Rosie managed to drop 100 pounds on her own solely through diet and exercise, but soon after she saw her progress begin to plateau. Struggling, she decided to take the plunge into weight loss surgery:
‘I was going back and forth with my weight, and I saw a documentary on the [gastric] sleeve. I said, “You know what I’m going to do this. It’s the next part of my journey,”‘ she told People.
But now, Rosie admits that she may not have been entirely prepared for just how tough that next step of her journey would be.
She couldn’t even have a sip of soda or a tiny serving of rice without becoming terribly ill – and had to learn many a lesson in just what her new transformed body could handle.
‘You have to deal with being low-calorie, and deal with the adjustment to your body as you’re dropping weight,’ she explained.
‘You learn what you’re allowed to do and what you’re not allowed to do. If you do what you’re not allowed to do, you’re going to feel like crap.’(via)
Unfortunately for Rosie, even after losing ~200 pounds she began to suffer the consequences of carrying that much extra weight around for years: excess skin. “I had to be in Spanx the entire time” she laments, “I couldn’t run without Spanx because of the weight of the skin. You lose all this weight, you’re excited, and then you take your clothes of and you have all this excess skin. New issues start coming up.”
Rosie was eventually able to have her excess skin removed via a full tummy tuck procedure, leaving her 20 pounds lighter and no longer needing to wear Spanx in order to work out.
Now weighing 170 pounds (a total of 240 pounds lost), Rosie participates in boot camp classes three times a week and centers her diet around protein and vegetables. If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further – her before and after photos are like night and day:
[H/T Daily Mail]