Samantha Soto’s favourite hobby used to be devouring a Chinese buffet. Then, last year, she realised she had ‘nothing to live for’, and has since lost a whopping nine stone.
The 23-year-old used to eat whatever, whenever, binging on pizzas, desserts and chicken wings almost every day.
At her heaviest, Samantha, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, weighed 19 stone 7lbs (123kg). She always thought she was going to be overweight, until last year when she decided to take action.
Check out Samantha’s transformation in the video below:
Samantha said her emotional eating became so bad that in her spare time she would stuff her face with food at Chinese buffets, eating as much as she possibly could.
I ate whatever I wanted when I wanted whenever. My favourite pass time used to be going to Chinese buffets and just eat everything. I always thought I was going to be overweight and at a time I just didn’t care.
It wasn’t until I realised that I was 22 and had nothing to live for and I was just wasting my life eating my feelings away. Then I realised that I’m young, let me focus on my health now before it’s too late.
Samantha went on a sleeve gastrectomy surgery in November last year, saying she had difficulty controlling her portions on her own and had been binge-eating for years.
After her surgery, she went on a Ketogenic diet, cutting her carbs down while increasing her fat intake, as well as doing weight training at the gym.
I had weight loss surgery in November. Not for a quick fix but because I was a binge eater and I could not maintain my portion control. But no secret, it’s really about you diet and staying motivated. I have a drive to achieve everything I set my mind to so I stay motivated by caring about my health and clean eating.
I know that would help me achieve my goals. As a child I didn’t have much and my mom fought for what we need. I try to stay with that same drive, taking inspiration from her mother.
Thanks to her surgery and improved lifestyle, Samantha said she now has more energy and no longer feels her life just ‘dragging’ away.
I feel 100% better now, I can actually move around and have energy. It gives me more motivation to keep going because I never want to feel that way again. I actually live and no longer just drag away my life now that I have loss most my life and maintaining now this summer I’m going to travel more and challenge myself physically.
Some were initially were concerned about her rapid progress, as she shed the weight off very quickly in the first few months after surgery. However, thanks to the ongoing support from her family and boyfriend of seven years, her spirits remained high during her weight loss journey.
Now, Samantha has lost more than nine stone, dropping her weight from 276 lbs to 140 lbs in just under a year.
She follows a strict eating plan and tracks all her calories every single day, making sure she doesn’t consume any bread, past, soda or foods with high carb content. ‘I also don’t drink my calories unless it’s a protein shake,’ she said.
Samantha has since started up her own Instagram page, @_samantha_fitvsg, where she posts pictures of her weight loss transformation to more than 5,000 followers.
Speaking about her account, she said:
I had my Instagram since I was a teenager but didn’t make it public until I had weight loss surgery. I wanted to share my journey to inspire other and keep me accountable. The support has been amazing. I couldn’t have ever thought that people would want to hear my story and also give me so much support and kind words.
It keeps me so motivated and accountable. It makes me want to be better for myself and then do it to keep them motivated.
Giving a final word of advice to others who want to lose weight, Samantha said: ‘Don’t do it for anyone else but yourself.’
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