A Missouri woman who shed a startling 305 pounds has been sharing secrets to her transformative journey which led her out of a metaphorical coffin.
Standing at five-foot-seven with 30% body fat, Whitney Wheeler’s transformation liberated her from the struggles that once made basic activities like standing and walking seem unbearable.
At the time of trimming her weight, the woman weighed 543 pounds, according to Daily Mail. “Obesity is something I struggled with my entire life. I can’t say there was a time when I wasn’t overweight or obese,” Wheeler, whose mom and grandma also struggled with obesity, shared.
“I grew up in a home where carbs and fatty foods were always served during meals. I can count on one hand how many veggies I was introduced to as a child. We never ate healthy foods.”
Wheeler recalled a first-grade moment when her weight, at 131 pounds, surprised classmates during a height and weight project. Undeterred by the unconventional figure, she remained determined to overcome any limitations her size might impose.
“I’ve always been pretty, so I accentuated my facial features and tried not to focus my attention on my weight,” she added.
“My whole life was spent trying to uphold the big girl’s reputation. I had a boyfriend. I took part in all the school sports. I was captain of the cheerleading team. I was in drama. I was popular. From middle school to my college years, I didn’t let my weight stop me.”
Over time, Wheeler confronted serious health issues due to her weight, experimenting with various diets but facing recurring setbacks. Despite high blood pressure, sleep difficulties, joint pain, and breathing problems, she initially downplayed the severity.
It was a stark realization of her family’s medical history, marked by premature deaths from congestive heart failure linked to obesity, that served as her profound wake-up call. She said despite the familial cycle of weight struggles with her grandmother, she was determined to break the obesity pattern.
Stuck in a relentless loop with numerous medications and physical limitations, she felt trapped within her own body. Overwhelmed mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, Wheeler reached a turning point, with the resolve that something had to change.
“I started my weight loss journey in February 2013. The first thing I did was started meal prepping my food and working out daily. I lost some weight, but not nearly enough.”
“Five years later I had gained all my weight back, and more. That’s when my blood pressure spiked to 260/190 and the doctors sent me home because my weight exceeded the hospital equipment. They couldn’t help me.”
Wheeler, who underwent gastric-sleeve surgery in 2021 and experienced significant initial weight loss, said the surgery only became the powerful tool she leveraged the shedding pounds on. She however pointed out it is not a guaranteed solution for long-term success. She stressed on the importance of personal effort, healthy choices, positive habits, and a determined mindset in maintaining weight loss post-surgery.
According to her, the journey is not just about losing weight but also involves self-love, kindness, and a commitment to staying healthy through mindful eating and exercise. Wheeler has successfully lost over 300 pounds, amassing a massive online following of over 500,000, with Facebook being her primary platform.
Her key advice for those seeking weight loss is to set realistic goals. She recently published her first book, “Walking Out of the Coffin,” emphasizing that it is not a typical diet book but rather a personal account of her journey in overcoming obesity. The book aims to guide readers through her experiences and struggles with weight loss.