By Rebecca Drew
MEET the teacher who taught her doctor a lesson by defying his advice to have a gastric bypass and instead naturally lost more than seven-stone in just a year-and-a-half.
Overweight all her life, Amber Barham (25) from Haines City, Florida, USA was put on blood pressure medicine at the age of just 23 and weighed 19st 9lb and was a UK size 24 before she decided to change her life.
Amber now weighs an incredible 12st 7lb and is a UK size 14 after she swapped sweets, fast food and pizza for home cooked meals packed with fruit and vegetables. She now goes to the gym six days a week without fail.
Mum-of-one Amber, who also has a thyroid condition said that she had resigned herself to believe that she would be overweight for her entire life but says her wake-up call came after a doctor suggested she should have surgery to lose weight.
“There isn’t a time that I could say I wasn’t overweight but I have also struggled with thyroid problems my entire life,” said Amber.
“I think my thyroid condition was used as a crutch in some ways and it made me believe I was just always going to be overweight.
“I was 23 and put on blood pressure medicine, and my doctor suggested I have gastric bypass.
“This made me believe that he thought I wasn’t capable of losing the weight, so I proved him wrong.”
Amber says she eats clean 80-percent of the time and eats what she fancies for the remaining 20-percent.
“I can shop for clothes I want without worry, I never could do that before,” added Amber.
“I also feel that I can inspire others by showing them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
“I feel a lot more confident than I ever have in my life.”
The teacher says the hardest thing about losing weight was when the numbers on the scale stayed the same and advises others to start by making small, achievable goals.
“Plateaus are the hardest part about losing weight hands down, it can be very discouraging to be doing everything right and to see the scale not move or it go up even,” explained Amber.
“Make small goals and small changes, when I started my goal was to be able to run an entire mile, now I can run two.
“Start small and go from there.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/ambers_journey