Kayla before and after her weight loss (Picture: wls_barbie/Instagram)
When costume designer Kayla Lavende had to buy two plane seats due to being overweight, she was mortified.
It was a turning point for the 36-year-old from Sydney, now living in Las Vegas.
Kayla decided to change her life, swapping her former calorie-heavy diet for something more nutritious, while incorporating lots more exercise into her routine.
In 2018, Kayla also underwent gastric sleeve surgery, which changed her diet completely.
In the years since, Kayla lost 14 stone, transforming herself from XXXL to a size 8.
The fitness fanatic also thanks Barbie for the transformation, saying she didn’t want to lose weight to look like the doll, but more that she appreciates Barbie’s unapologetic style and confidence.
Now Kayla, a full-time designer, also carries out some work for the surgeon who aided her journey.
And she shares tips and advice to others hoping to lose weight.
Kayla was inspired by Barbie (Picture: wls_barbie/Instagram)
We spoke to Kayla to understand more about her journey.
She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I have been overweight my whole life, my earliest childhood memories were going to doctors and nutritionists and being put on every diet under the sun.
‘No diet ever seemed to work for me, throughout my childhood I always turned to Barbie and lived vicariously through her. I dreamt of wearing fun clothes like she did but there was never any plus size children’s options in the 90s. It’s not that I wanted to be Barbie but she has always inspired me.
‘This led me to get crafty and start jazzing up my own outfits and I have been doing so ever since (I even turned it into a career).
‘In 2018 my weight tipped an all-time high of 342lbs. While I never let my size affect my fun and funky fashion I was losing my sparkle and zest for life, that’s when I knew I needed a change once and for all.’
Kayla wanted to have Barbie’s style and confidence (Picture: wls_barbie/Instagram)
The gastric surgery, which removes a large portion of your stomach, has aided her weight loss but Kayla says it doesn’t solve everything.
She adds: ‘While this has helped it has not been an easy fix.
‘From that day on I made a promise to myself to never give up and work hard for the results I want.
‘I reduced carbs, sugar, fast food and learned how to eat to fuel my body, I also have fallen In love with working out and do so seven days a week.
Kayla shares her journey on Instagram (Picture: wls_barbie/Instagram)
‘Today I am happy to say I have lost over 200lbs all while keeping a fun upbeat attitude and staying true to my Barbie style that I have embraced no matter my size.
‘I am finally living my life with no limitations. Seeing the changes keeps me going but feeling the changes make me unstoppable.’
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