Woman drops 93kg to hug boyfriend
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20.08.2017

Woman drops 93kg to hug boyfriend

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A mordiblyobese woman who at 199kg, was so big her boyfriend couldn’t get his arms around her, has now lost enough weight that she can finally enjoy a hug with her partner.
Charlene Crawford, 28, from Caroline Springs in Victoria, lost 93kg in the past 12 months after realising her weight was affecting her eight-year relationship with partner Luke, 31.
She’d battled with the bulge her whole life and was a size 28 when the pair met online in 2008.
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But thanks to health issues, including debilitating migraines and polycystic ovarian syndrome, combined with Charlene’s love of junk food, she ballooned to a size 36 as their relationship developed.
At her heaviest, she was so overweight she struggled to do every day things couples do, including hugs and it was taking its toll on their relationship.
Since losing the weight after having a gastric sleeve surgery, the couple are regularly enjoying cuddles and have recently got engaged.
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“Being able to feel Luke’s arms around me is like a dream come true,” she said.
“Ever since we first met I’ve been too big for us to cuddle. Being a size 36 at my biggest, his arms couldn’t get around my waist.
“Since having the surgery and losing 93kg, I’m now a size 16 and he can easily get his arms around me.
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“It’s amazing to share such a basic connection together and reminds me of exactly how far I’ve come.”
Charlene, who used to live on a diet of junk food, has struggled with her weight all her life and says she couldn’t have lost the weight without having surgery.
She said: “Ever since I can remember I’ve loved junk food.
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“From the age of five, I started getting migraines and I used food to help me cope.
“When I was sad or in pain, I’d turn to my favourite chips, lollies and chocolate.
“As I got older, I was often bedridden by my migraines and started eating junk morning, noon and night.
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“Naturally, it affected my weight and by the time I met Luke in an online chatroom in 2008, I was a size 28.”
But while initially Charlene’s size didn’t affect the loved up pair, when her weight started preventing them from leaving the house or even showing each other affection, it started to take its toll.
Charlene said: “Luke can eat whatever he wants and he wouldn’t put on a pound.
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“So he’d find it really frustrating that I couldn’t join him on romantic walks along the beach or go away on holiday together.
“The one time I went away to the Gold Coast with my mum, I had to buy two plane seats and struggled immensely in the heat.
“We loved each other dearly, but while I was morbidly obese, it was hard to be together.”
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It was after her holiday to the Sunshine State that Charlene finally decided she needed to take action.
“Having to use a belt extender and sit across two seats was the final straw for me,” she said.
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“It was so humiliating and I vowed never to get on a plane again.
“But back home, I realised how much my weight was restricting not just my life, but Luke’s too.”
After consulting with her doctor, Charlene was referred to a specialist who recommended having a gastric sleeve operation.
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“I remember feeling really scared and on the day of the surgery I wanted to back out,” Charlene recalled.
“But I knew this was the only way I’d ever beat my food addiction.
“I could easily eat Macca’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I hated that about myself.
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“I wanted to change and get my life back.”
Charlene would typically eat four slices of white toast with vegemite or Nutella for breakfast. At lunch, she would get McDonald’s or KFC. For dinner, she would usually have a home-cooked meal such as pasta or a rice dish, followed by McDonald’s or KFC for supper. And for a snack, Charlene would indulge in chips, chocolate and lollies.
But after having part of her stomach removed, Charlene completely changed her diet and began to notice a change straight away.
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For breakfast, she’d now have a small bowl of Special K with blueberries followed by a tuna salad or sushi for lunch. At dinner, Charlene kept her plate simple with chicken and plenty of vegetables.
“I was losing weight so fast to begin with, averaging about 6kg a week,” she said.
“I found it quite overwhelming to begin with and there were a few times when I regretted it.
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“I couldn’t eat my favourite foods anymore and I was worried about the uncertain life that lay ahead of me.
“But I remembered I was heading to an early grave and stuck with it.
“On the anniversary of my surgery I’d lost 85kg and to celebrate Luke took me to Sydney.
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It was the first time we’d been on holiday together and I knew then, I’d made the right decision.”
Now Charlene has lost 93kg and is continuing on her path to a healthier life through a new diet and lots of exercise.
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She said: “I’m really happy with how much weight I’ve lost and having my life back.
“The first time Luke was able to get his arms around me, we both started crying and even took a photo in a mirror to capture the moment. It was so special.
“My migraines have also completely vanished.”
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As size 16 Charlene looks forward to her new life, she can’t wait to make the most out of the small things she missed out on before.
She said: “Before I couldn’t wrap a towel around myself or sit in chairs that had arms, but now life seems full of possibilities.
“Luke and I have recently got engaged now too, and the thought of buying a dress no longer fills me with fear.
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“I can’t wait to walk down the aisle and into his arms. It never would have been possible when I was 199kg.”

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