- Pearl, a public sector worker (36) from London, UK, was tiny as a child, but she began to gain weight as she entered her teenage years and started avoiding social activities.
- Feeling self-conscious, she decided to undergo gastric surgery and successfully lost over 50kg in a year.
- Pearl now feels confident in her own skin. She says when she's on the street, people treat her differently than before.
When Pearl was younger, she was tiny but going into her teens, she started to gain weight. As a result, she lost her confidence and her self-esteem lowered due to societies expectations around weight.
"For years, I worked on cruise ships as an entertainer, which I absolutely loved, but when I was home from the ships, I hated leaving the house," she explains.
"I would always worry that people who I knew would see me when I left the house, so I stayed inside as much as I possibly could and would make excuses as to why I couldn't meet up with friends when they asked."
Pearl weighed 116kg at her heaviest, and when she first floated the idea of weight loss surgery to those close to her, she felt unsupported.
"I would get comments like 'you don't need to have surgery' or 'why don't you go to the gym and lose weight normally' or 'having surgery is cheating.' I just ignored these comments because the only person that knew what was best for me was me," Pearl says.
"The fact that I couldn't walk up three steps without feeling like I was having an asthma attack, and I don't even have asthma, was a big moment of realisation that things needed to change."Pearl has lost over 50kg and believes her weight loss has given her more energy. All images courtesy mediadrumworld.com/ @pearl.vs.pearl/ Magazine Features
In August 2019, Pearl decided to fly to Turkey to undergo gastric sleeve surgery in which over 80 percent of the stomach is removed to reduce the capacity for eating. She did the surgery shortly before Covid hit.
Throughout 2020 and amid the pandemic, she managed to lose a remarkable 50,6kg and now weighs 63kg. Pearl says her weight loss has transformed her life in a variety of ways.
Previously self-conscious in front of both friends and strangers, Pearl now feels confident in her own skin. She says when she's on the street, people treat her differently than before.
"When people see me for the first time, they always say 'you look amazing,' which is great to hear. I'm so happy with how far I've come on my journey. I feel like it's made me a better person. I have so much more energy, and I'm also more confident," says Pearl.
She is also constantly told by friends that she looks amazing.Pearl is glad that she decided to do what she felt was best for herself. "It's the best thing I've ever done in my whole entire life. I'm so grateful for the second chance."
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Credit: mediadrumworld.com/ @pearl.vs.p/ Magazine Features
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