A woman who feared she’d be single forever and became reclusive for years because of her weight has revealed how surgery transformed her love life – and gave her the confidence to find a husband.
Sarah Doehler, 33, from Gilbert, Arizona, started binge eating at the age of 12, starving herself during the day and sneaking into the kitchen to eat hearself sick at night.
By her late 20s she weighed 200lbs and spent several years avoiding social occasions and her friends and family, having reconciled herself to being single for life because she couldn’t seem to lose weight.
Finally, she underwent vertical gastric sleeve surgery to reduce the size of her stomach, and although it took some time for her to settle into the correct pattern of eating, she’s now found a balance that works for her – eating 2,000 calories a day while exercising to keep her silhouette svelte.
Now head nutrition coach of ‘Team Fit with Me’, she is happily married to her husband Mark after embracing the dating scene with confidence.
Sarah Doehler, 33, from Gilbert, Arizona, has become a nutrition coach after losing 70lbs and learning how her hormines and metabolism processed the food she ate. Pictured at her biggest, weighing 200lbs
Sarah was an avid and professional horse rider when she was younger, but her active lifestyle didn’t stop her weight gain. Diet attempts turned into binge eating spirals and debilitating depression and anxiety soon began to take their toll.
‘I grew up in New Jersey with an older brother and parents who were very health conscious, but I always felt like the black sheep as I struggled with my weight and started binge eating in my teens,’ Sarah said.
‘I was a professional horse rider which kept me active, yet the pounds kept creeping on,’ she added.
‘When I left the horse industry, I continued to gain weight and found myself weighing more than 200lbs with debilitating anxiety and depression.
The super slimmer before losing weight. Sarah admitted she started binge eating as young as 12, and would raid her parents’ fridge
Sarah now feels confident and said the weight loss gave her a ‘new lease of life’ after year of struggling with weight gain and depression
‘I tried every diet out there, but it was one step forward followed by three steps back. My binge eating became a daily event and I’d keep it a secret.’
Sarah admitted she entered a vicious circle of binging and dieting.
By her early twenties, Sarah weighed 200lbs and would squeeze into a stretchy size 12 – unsure of her true size.
‘Even when I was as young as twelve, I’d sneak into the kitchen in the middle of the night and gorge on anything in sight,’ she said.
‘I would eat myself sick daily, wake up filled with shame and regret, tell myself it wouldn’t happen again, then be back on the cycle by the evening.
‘I’d diet and lose thirty-pounds then gain it all back. I thought I was a failure – that I had no willpower.’
Sarah, before, left, developed anxiety due to her weight gain, and would not go to social events. Pictured now, right
The super slimmer’s road to a healthy diet was long. Sarah went from eating pizza and high-calorie snacks to eating only 800 calories, which is below the recommended amount. She now eats 2,00 calories a day
This had serious consequences on Sarah’s physical and mental health, she said, explaining her hormones were ‘out of whack,’ her metabolism ‘crashed,’ which cuase her body to hold ‘onto every pound for dear life.’
‘By my late twenties, I gave up and decided that being overweight was my fate. I would be single, alone, and overweight and this was my cross to bear,’ she said.
Fed up of the continually equalising weight gain and loss, Sarah decided that perhaps she would always be single, alone, and overweight.
She began to avoid social events and seeing friends and family. Dating became a no-go area and after several years of isolating herself, Sarah was prescribed depression, anxiety, and appetite suppressing medications to treat her devolving mental health.
Sarah thought it was her fate to end up overweight and alone. She’s now found lost with Mark, pictured
The super slimmer got a wake-up call during a weight in at her doctor’s, which showed she had reached 200lbs
‘Over the years, I spiralled and took medication for various mental health issues. I tried prescribed diet pills, but nothing worked,’ she said.
‘I was lucky that the people around me never made me feel any less valid or worthy because I was hard enough on myself,’ she added.
Whilst on a visit to the doctors, Sarah was confronted with her 200lbs weight when asked to step onto the sales. Along with her aching joints, it was the wake-up call she needed, and Sarah sat crying with mum Renee, confessing that perhaps lap-band surgery was the answer to her troubles.
‘I remember stepping on the scales one day at the doctor’s office and that was my wake-up call. I was on the brink of tears. I knew I needed to find a surgeon to help me,’ she
After her gastric sleeve surgery, Sarah began exercising regularly, hitting the gym six times a week, pictured
The super slimmer threw herself into her exercise routine, and began studying nutrition to lose more weight
Sarah now feels confident about her body after years of struggle, and likes to show off her progress (pictured)
After just one week, Sarah had an appointment with a bariatric surgeon who recommended vertical sleeve surgery – in which the size of the stomach is reduced by up to 85 per cent to reduce appetite – and Sarah underwent the surgery two months later in August of 2016.
For the next six months, Sarah consumed just 800 calories a day and lifted weights at the gym six days a week followed by an hour of cardio. She dropped down to a super svelte 130 lbs and wore a size 2 but despite her best efforts, the weight started to creep on again.
Sarah was fearful that the vertical sleeve surgery she was seeking would fail too, but she decided it was worth the plunge.
The nutrition coach went from a size 12 to a size 2, pictured, in just six months, and started putting the weight back on because she was not eating properly. She’s now learned from her mistakes
Sarah admitted she wondered whether some men were only interested in her looks, pictured, after fearing she’d end up alone due to her weight
‘I felt like I’d been given a new lease on life and a fresh start,’ Sarah said.
‘I had lost the bulk of my weight but then a few pounds started to creep back on. I thought I had failed – yet again.
‘I reduced my food intake and increased my exercise yet still, I’d gained fifteen-pounds. I knew I needed help, but I didn’t know where to turn.
‘I listened to a podcast by coach Jason Theobald. He spoke about metabolic adaptation and the impact on hormones as a result of extreme dieting. I reached out.
‘Jason showed me that my struggles weren’t my fault. By implementing an integrative health approach, I was able to fix my hormones and metabolism and finally lose the weight.’
Sarah, pictured showing off her body, said she was no longer depressed thanks to her weight loss
Previously, Sarah would skip breakfast and lunch and gorge on pizza, pasta, and cheese for her nightly binge dinner – unsure of her calorie intake.
Now, Sarah eats five or six small portions a day to meet the recommended 2,000 calorie daily intake. A standard meal consists of a lean protein element, clean carbs, healthy fats, and lots of green vegetables.
‘I no longer struggle with anxiety or depression. I live a full and happy life,’ Sarah said.
‘Hiring a good coach was the best time and money I have every spent and it lead me to my true passion – serving others as a health coach.
‘Helping clients succeed brings me the greatest joy. I love being able to help people get out of the dark place I used to live in.
Sarah now dispenses her advice to clients as a nutrition coach, and preaches that patience is the key to a healthy weight loss
‘I’m now an optimist and know that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I have built a beautiful life and met my soul mate Mark.
‘I started putting myself back out there on the dating scene after losing the bulk of my weight.
‘I was definitely more confident this time around although with the attention now focused on my looks, it was harder to tell which interactions were sincere but thankfully, I met Mark.
‘Patience is the key. It’s easy to get discouraged. Take it one day at a time. Focus on what you can do today – not how far you still have to go.
‘Celebrate every win that comes your way. My door is always open to help.’