Kathi's photos are below her story.
True self unleashed
Kathi, 30, has been through such a radical and challenging journey over the last 15 months - losing 67kgs as well as rediscovering herself.
Kathi was 144kgs in November 2012. She is on track to lose a further 5kgs, which would make her total loss half her original body weight!
Kathi at 144kgs in November 2012
It started when Kathi was seven. An asthma attack, coupled with laziness, led to a fairly sedentary lifestyle and weight gain. It all became a vicious cycle and one that hurt her a lot. Subconsciously, eating gave her a protective layer.
She was desperate to lose weight - she was in her 20’s and restricted with what she could do - “it was debilitating”. She was so desperate she wished she’d catch some exotic disease to make her incredibly sick to lose weight! Not only does it restrict you from so many things, she was regularly hurt by people’s snide remarks and stares; she was judged.
“I didn’t want to go into my 30’s as I’d spent my 20’s. I was never alone but often lonely in the self imposed isolation that comes with debilitating obesity.”
Kathi tried every diet imaginable and put up with the yo-yoing effect that resulted; her last resort was surgery. She had Bariatric surgery on 30 November 2012. It has been life changing and she can’t thank enough Dr Schroeder, his wife Andrea, and the rest of the amazing team at Surgical Obesity Services in Wellington. She has wonderful friends and couldn’t have done it without them either, but most of all, she wants to thank her beautiful parents and family for their support and loan to pay for the surgery.
“The scars of the surgery have well faded now, replaced by bumps and bruises from my attempts to roller skate and use a scooter - something I never would have done prior to losing the weight because I am a scaredy cat and increased weight on any strain you put your body could lead to broken bones. Now I practice falling over on my skates. Yes, falling on purpose! I waddle around on them like a toddler learning to walk again. I’m hoping to improve my skills enough to be able to learn how to referee at Roller Derby!
In the meantime, I’m loving officiating for Wellington's Roller Derby League, Richter City Roller Derby, and find myself travelling to support the girls and boys and derby across the lower North Island.
I now swim in a bikini instead of shorts and a t-shirt, wobbly skin be damned.
I have lost 67kgs so far, 5kgs away from being half my original weight. The sheer amount of skin left over is at least 5-8kgs worth and in about 12 months I intend to have abdominoplasty to remove it.
Things haven’t been easy at all. There is a lot of work that goes into weight loss, no matter what you do. I get mad when I hear Bariatric patients who say, "I can now eat anything I want, just in small amounts" which is NOT a healthy mindset. Sure you CAN eat anything but that doesn’t help with the carb and sugar addiction that got you obese in the first place.
I have amazing support structures. Firstly my family - without whom none of this would be possible. Secondly my online support - both the group of ladies I have stumbled across on Facebook and the "A post op and a doc" support team who do monthly interactive podcasts and have also visited NZ several times to share their support and recovery plans. Thirdly, my supportive friends, exs and boyfriend.”
Kathi’s older sister, who now lives in Australia, lost 50kgs during the similar period of time. Her weight loss came about after a huge commitment to herself and a healthy, balanced, active lifestyle. Between the two of them they’ve lost 117kgs!! They’re a great support for one another.
It’s only now that we are starting to see the real Kathi, the gorgeous, bubbly, outgoing, playful person that she really is, the person that’s been hiding for all those years. She’s like a kid in a candy store, buzzing around wanting to experience everything for the first time. Magic.
Messages Kathi would like to share:
- Bariatric surgery is NOT a magic bullet. It’s HARD WORK but worth it for every kilo. Mental work is just as important as physical change.
- Support is necessary but it’s your responsibility to do the work.
- Asking for help is showing strength.
- It’s about dedication to the plan. You may slip off sometimes but you can always get back on whenever you choose.
Kathi's makeover story continues below, including her video...
CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW AND WATCH AS A SLIDE SHOW OR ENLARGE EACH IMAGE (TOP RIGHT CORNER).
Please note, we have provided full-pricing below, even though a number of items have been generously discounted. Also please note that nearly all items are available in Australia and New Zealand either in store or online.
Kathi is an hourglass body shape - her shoulders and hips are about the same width, with a smaller waist measurement. She is borderline straight because her waist isn't too different in measurement from her shoulders and hips. Where possible, it's a great idea to create the appearance of a waist through styling.
KATHI'S COLOUR PALETTE
Kathi suits the Clear and Cool colour palettes - her skin undertone is cool with a slightly bluey-red tinge and her hair is naturally dark. She suits blues, purples, greens, greys and colours with a blue undertone. For example, red or pink with a blue undertone as opposed to a yellowy/orange base.
She also suits bright, bold, clear crisp colours - certainly her bubbly, outgoing personality help to carry it off.
Kathi is has an outgoing, bubbly, playful personality. Her style personality is:
- She's an individual
- Likes to express herself in part through her different clothing and accessories
- A non-conformist
- Hair and make-up will generally follow clothes styling - bold and different
- Enjoys mixing different colours, styles, patterns and textures together to create a unique, eclectic look, including mixing vintage clothing with new. In Kathi's case, she's a big op-shop fan.
- Not afraid to experiment.
Krissy from Kristina Raffaele cutting Kathi's hair
Since having lost all her weight, Kathi has been having fun experimenting with hair colour - black, blonde, pink... Her natural hair colour is dark. Whilst she might've been having fun, she hasn't been doing her hair any favours. Since the surgery, all the nutrients and goodness from her body have gone into helping her body recover, the body deems her hair less important so it's missed out on the goodies.
A week prior to the makeover, just about all of her hair broke off! Stylist goes into panic but Krissy of Kristina Raffaele came to the rescue with a fabulous funky short cut. With Kathi's cool undertones and her strong personality and experimental nature, we opted to colour Kathi's hair a blue-black accented by Loreal Professional's new Hair Chalk in blue. The chalk highlights are only temporary and something Kathi, and any of you, can manage at home. I'm off to experiment with some. Mmm, what colour? More about hair chalk in a later blog.
Thanks again to the WONDERFUL team at Kristina Raffaele for the hair styling and makeup.
Kate Sheen, National Makeup Artist for Smashbox
We were a wee bit spoilt because who should happen to be in town but the National Makeup Artist for Smashbox, Kate Sheen. Kate did an amazing job with Kathi's makeup, and Lisa (our stylist) got to have hers done too! Thanks heaps Kate.
A WORD FROM KATHI
"I feel fabulous, powerful and damn sexy! I feel like a strong, sexy woman who can take on anything!"
What I learnt most from the makeover is to have versitility in my wardrobe - having pieces that work for different occasions and using accessories to create different looks. Also having clothing and accessories that work together in different ways.
I am now less afraid of shopping for jeans; going into Just Jeans was fantastic because they seem to have something for everyone, they were so helpful.
I will also now be more courageous with trying new things, even if they don't look right I'm going to try them to see what parts work and what don't. I encourage everyone to do this, it's the only way you'll have confidence in what works for you.
My biggest learning and advice is to go along and get a professional bra fitting. It's a painless exercise. The professionals are very good and considerate of your need for privacy. I couldn't believe how great a good fitting bra can look. My old bra made me look like I had one boob, a mono boob and my boobs looked flat and droopy, now they look great.
Lisa has just made me feel gorgeous and accentuated assets I didn't know I had!
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