A woman who was teased by classmates at school about her weight has revealed how the same boys who taunted her now want to date her – after she shed almost half of her body weight.
Jackie Campbell, a stay-at-home mum, 26, from Texas was dubbed a ‘whale’ by her classmates and struggled with her weight througout her teenage years and twenties.
After hitting the scales at 260lbs (18st 8lbs), she made the decision to have gastric sleeve surgery and has now lost 126lbs (9st).
Jackie says she’s had a lifelong addiction to food that saw her weigh seven stone by the time she was eight-years-old, leading doctors to put her on a diet in spite of her young age.
Scroll down for video
Jackie Campbell, a stay-at-home mum, 26, from Texas was dubbed a ‘whale’ and ‘earthquake’ by her classmates – and weighed seven stone by the time she was just eight, which saw doctors put her on a diet
As she looks today after having gastric sleeve surgery in 2017; after tipping the scales at 18st 8lbs, she has now lost 126lbs (9st)
‘I was desperate to lose weight, but I would spend hours a day looking at myself in the mirror with true hate’ Jackie says food became her obsession and she would gorge on McDonald’s
She says: ‘I have struggled with being overweight my entire life. When I was eight years old, I was sent to a dietician and from that moment on, I began living my life on a diet.
However, dieting at such a young age had a negative effect on Jackie’s mental health and she began eating more and more – developing a fear of feeling hungry in the process.
‘I was too young to understand the necessary benefits of visiting a dietician so the whole experience had a negative impact on me. I began emotional eating, closet eating, and I developed a fear of hunger.’
Children at school would call Jackie a ‘whale’ and cruelly compare her to an ‘earthquake.’
During her teenage years, Jackie became withdrawn and began suffering from body dysmorphia – a hatred of how she looked in the mirror that would leave her distraught.
She says: ‘I was desperate to lose weight, but I would spend hours a day looking at myself in the mirror with true hate.
‘I let my weight control and shape me in countless ways to the point that one day, I looked around wondering who the f**k this person was and how she got here.
‘At school, there were the common, ‘She’s a whale,’ or ‘Here comes an earthquake,’ comments when I would walk by. My favourite ones were, ‘She would be so pretty if she wasn’t fat,’ or ‘She has a pretty face, but…’
To make herself feel better, Jackie would comfort eat – repeating the unhealthy cycle that she had fallen into – with burgers and fries from McDonald’s being her favourite.
When Jackie turned 22, she weighed 18st 8lb and wore a size 18 US dress size (UK size 22) resulting in her feeling depressed and disgusted with herself.
Jackie had always dreamed of being a healthy and active parent and with a newborn son Lance, now four, she decided to take immediate action.
Classmates would say ‘She would be so pretty if she wasn’t fat,’ or ‘She has a pretty face, but…’ leaving Jackie withdrawn
By her early twenties, she’d fallen in love with husband Brandon and had her son Lance, now four, but was still comfort eating 4,000 calories a day
In 2017, Jackie boarded a plane from Texas to Mexico to undergo vertical sleeve surgery – reducing the size of her stomach
Over the next two years, Jackie lost exactly half of her body weight and now weighs just 130lbs (9st 4lb) and wears a US size two (UK size six)
‘After months of failed diets and this never-ending cycle of self-abuse, I felt powerless. I was depressed, angry, and lost. I felt worthless, purposeless, and just overall disgusting.
My marriage has improved. I am a more active mum and overall, I’m just happy. I can confidently look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I am a badass woman…’
‘I have always had a vision of the kind of mum and wife I dreamed to be, and the kind of lifestyle I wanted to live. My saving grace was never losing sight of that vision.’
Before her weight loss, Jackie had no set eating schedule and would snack on chocolate throughout the day whilst eating fast food – including burgers, chicken nuggets and cookies – for lunch and dinner, totalling over 4,000 calories per day.
She would try to keep active but without a routine, she would often quit.
‘All I thought about was food and where my next meal would be, but I was never satisfied. I dreaded putting clothes on and having to face myself in the mirror and ultimately turning to food for comfort which only made things worse.
In the aftermath of her surgery, Jackie found it difficult to go from being able to eat whatever she liked to physically not being able to eat much food at all – leading to spells of feeling depressed
She says her ‘marriage has improved. I am a more active mum and overall, I’m just happy. I can confidently look at myself in the mirror and say, “I am a badass woman.'”
‘It would always end with me sitting on the closet floor, clothes thrown all over the place and sobbing. Nothing anyone told me was any different or worse than what I had already told myself.’
In 2017, Jackie boarded a plane from Texas to Mexico to undergo vertical sleeve surgery in which the stomach is surgically reduced in size to restrict a patient’s appetite to help them lose weight.
Over the next two years, Jackie lost exactly half of her body weight and now weighs just 9st 4lb and wears a UK size six.
Since her weight loss, Jackie’s life has changed dramatically. Where she once struggled with self-image issues, she can now look at herself in the mirror with confidence and pride at what she has achieved.
‘Losing weight has changed my life in so many ways. I am able to view life in a more positive way, making even the bad days seem a little brighter,’ says Jackie.
Jackie says she’s finally living as she feels she should, and hopes she can inspire others to feel the same
‘My marriage has improved. I am a more active mum and overall, I’m just happy. I can confidently look at myself in the mirror and say, “I am a badass woman.'”
Although married to her childhood sweetheart Brandon, 26, Jackie constantly has men ask her if she is single both online and in everyday life. Old friends are shocked to see her transformation, whilst strangers are keen to know how she managed to lose the weight and look so good.
WHAT JACKIE USED TO EAT AND WHAT SHE EATS NOW…
Jackie had no set eating schedule and would snack on chocolate throughout the day whilst eating fast food – including burgers, chicken nuggets and cookies – for lunch and dinner, totalling over 4,000 calories per day
Breakfast: a protein shake
Dinner: Turkey or chicken with vegetables
Total calories: 1,200
‘Men will often say, ‘Are you single?’ and I get a lot of comments about my physique and fitness. Others ask me to tell them how I did it.’
Jackie’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. In the aftermath of her surgery, Jackie found it difficult to go from being able to eat whatever she liked to physically not being able to eat much food at all.
This led to spells of feeling depressed but in time, Jackie has become accustomed to her new lifestyle.
‘Going from a food addiction to physically not being able to eat much was extremely troubling in the beginning, but I’ve gotten used to not relying on food to comfort me.’
Now, a typical breakfast consists of a protein shake, followed by a salad for lunch, and turkey or chicken with vegetables for dinner totalling 1,200 calories.
She hits the gym once or twice each day, up to six times per week.
Jackie hopes that her story will inspire others struggling with their weight to take the necessary steps to change their lives for the better.
‘You need to know why you want to change and why you got this way in the first place. I believe to have success and long-term results, more than just a physical change needs to occur.
‘I feel like I am finally living as the person I was always meant to be. The confidence I have gained from the weight loss has let me spread my wings. I feel strong, sexy, powerful and limitless.’