An obese fast food addict who would secretly binge on greasy takeaways has dropped an incredible 82kg and six dress sizes after switching to a vegan diet.Back in 2016, Kirsty Young said her self-esteem was at an all-time low as she tipped the scales at 167kg while her wardrobe was full of frumpy size 26 clothes.The now 34-year-old from Geelong, Victoria, had an addiction to fast food and would often have secret mammoth binges after stopping in at McDonald’s or KFC on the way home from work.But after the public servant began facing a myriad of health issues, such as pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and aching joints – as well as no longer being able to fit comfortably into train seats on her morning commutes – she decided to turn her life around.Kirsty Young before her transformation. Credit: Kirsty Young / CATERS NEWSAnd since Kirsty ditched her greasy fast food binges and nightly chocolate habit in favour of a healthy vegan diet, rich in nutritious fresh fruits, vegetables and wholesome carbs, she hasn’t looked back.Kirsty said: “I always felt overweight when I was in high school, but in reality I was maybe a size or two bigger than average. But in my head, it felt like more.“I never really ate fast food and I was always active, but I assumed people thought I did nothing but sit around eating McDonald’s.“I got so in my own head about it, that I eventually started making my imagination a reality and began binging on junk food.“It got out of control when I graduated from university and got a desk job.“I was sitting for eight or more hours a day, and I’d secretly binge on fast food when I wasn’t in a good headspace.Chevron Right Icon‘I had pre-diabetes, aching joints, and was on so many medications…’“On my bad days I would go through several drive-throughs and order multiple takeaway meals. I was so ashamed of myself, I’d eat it all in secret.“I gained about 40kg in my first year after graduating, which made me self-conscious and turned me to food even more out of comfort.“The turning point came in my late 20s, things were just getting harder. I had pre-diabetes, aching joints, and was on so many medications.“I couldn’t even comfortably fit into a train seat on my morning commute. I switched to part time work because I couldn’t keep up with life.Kirsty Young has turned her life around. Credit: Kirsty Young / CATERS NEWS“My obesity was a constant reminder that I didn’t fit into the world. I carried a lot of self-shame and the constant unhappiness that comes with it.“I knew to even have a future, I had to change.”After trying to lose weight for years through different fad diets and exercise regimes with no success, Kirsty decided to seek help from her doctor who suggested she undergo gastric sleeve surgeryWith her health on the line, she decided to go for it and went under the knife in August 2016, having 80% of her stomach removed.She said: “The gastric sleeve was simply a tool to aid in my weight loss, but in no way was it the answer to all my problems.“I knew I couldn’t waste this tool and the opportunity to turn my life around.“I began doing exercise I actually enjoyed such as Zumba classes, personal training, hikes with friends and bootcamps.“I also eat a whole foods, plant-based diet with some vegan comfort foods for balance.Kirsty Young credits her vegan diet for helping her shed the kilos. Credit: Kirsty Young / CATERS NEWS“The surgery doesn’t magically fix everything. You can still eat excessive calories, it doesn’t make you exercise or heal your head and the reasons you became morbidly obese in the first place.”Kirsty understood she would need to commit to a massive overhaul in her diet and exercise habits.She now thanks having a wholesome vegan diet to her success in losing weight and keeping it off, adding that she now has a healthy relationship with food.In addition to the weight loss, Kirsty said her skin is much clearer these days, while her mood seems to be far more balanced since going vegan.A plant-based, vegan diet abstains from the consumption of any foods derived from animals including all meat, seafood, eggs, dairy and honey.Chevron Right Icon‘I’m now eating in a way that I’m proud of’Kirsty is now looking forward to a healthier and happier future.She said: “Since losing the weight I’ve been able to address the things that caused my weight gain in the first place.“I’ve been able to lead a healthier life physically, mentally and emotionally.“Losing weight doesn’t automatically make you happy, but I’m now able to identify and work on those areas in my life.“Since becoming vegan, I’ve learned it’s okay to have my own values and morals, even if they differ from the norm.“I’m now eating in a way that I’m proud of and proud to share, rather than those secret fast food binges.“I love food now, more than ever, but in a much healthier way.”BEFORE DIETBreakfast: Skipped.Mid-morning Snack: Large skim latte with sugarLunch: Chicken schnitzel wrap or on binge day multiple takeaway meals from different drive-throughs on way home from workAfternoon snack: A packet of chips and a cokeDinner: Takeaway such as Chinese or pizzaDessert: Half a packet of Tim Tams or half a block of chocolateAFTER DIETBreakfast: Green smoothie with banana, berries, zucchini, spinach, chia seeds, protein powder and oats.Mid-morning Snack: Black coffeeLunch: Mexican bowl with rice, sweet potato, chipotle hummus, black beans, greens, avocado and corn chipsAfternoon snack: A bananaDinner: Homemade chickpea and pumpkin coconut curry with spinach and flatbread. Or homemade pizzas on the weekendDessert (if applicable): A couple of pieces of chocolate occasionally’
Back in 2016, Victorian woman Kirsty Young said her self-esteem was at an all-time low as she tipped the scales at 167kg.