21-year-old Bethany Churcher currently works as a waitress and model in Beaulieu of Hampshire, England.
Nearly three years ago, however, the same woman reportedly weighed over 440 pounds. Doctors told her that she would die in six months unless she did something about it.
Daily Mail reports that Churcher suffered from compulsive eating disorder.
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) June 30, 2015
She was reportedly diagnosed with the condition at the age of 14. According to the report, between her 14th and 18th birthdays, Bethany gained approximately 196 pounds.
Churcher opened up about her struggles and overall history with compulsive eating disorder in an interview with Daily Mail— including what she believed was the root cause.
“My compulsive eating was all to do with how I was feeling. If something upset me, I comfort ate. I ate and ate until food became the only thing that made me happy. I hated how I looked, but by the time I was 14 I was so big I thought it would take forever to lose weight – so it was easier to continue eating.”
Over the years, due to her drastic weight increase, Churcher had to undergo a life-threatening gall bladder surgery as well as suffered a mild stroke.
With her life on the line, doctors approved Bethany Churcher for a taxpayer-funded gastric bypass surgery worth £5,000 (estimated $7,855 USD).
Even though the gastric bypass surgery was successful, Bethany reportedly had 10 pounds of extra skin left behind on her body. Churcher apparently felt that she “looked like an old woman” so she paid £10,000 (estimated $15,695 USD) to have the excess skin removed.
However, Churcher claims that her successful operation was not an overnight solution for her health problems since her battle with compulsive eating disorder continued after the surgery.
“After the operation my need to eat didn’t go away overnight. I craved chocolate and crisps, but the surgery meant now I couldn’t longer stuff myself. Sometimes I tried to gorge, but it just gave me an upset stomach.”
According to Bethany’s mother, she decided to get further assistance from a counselor since “food was the only thing that made her happy.”
Bethany tried to work out at the gym, but was embarrassed by the people that stared at her on the treadmill so she refused to return.
However, she later used a weight loss and fitness program known as Body by Vi to increase the progressive weight loss which was initiated by the operation.
She not only has been a source of inspiration for her family, but for others throughout the community as well. In addition to working as a waitress and model, Bethany Churcher provides support and guidance for other people that suffer from compulsive eating disorder.
[Image Credit: Dollar Photo Club]