Vanessa De Bartolo began training as a nurse 10 years ago. During this time, she picked up part-time work at a fast-food restaurant.
Although she’d previously had some weight issues, things got out of hand when she began to overeat burgers, fries, and soda.
By the time Vanessa got her first job as a nurse, she was too heavy to fit into the standard-sized scrubs. To Vanessa’s horror, people did not take her seriously in her profession, accusing her of hypocrisy for not being “healthy” enough.
“It was tough being a nurse that was extremely overweight. My patients would often look at me funny or question if I was qualified to be giving health advice, considering I had my own obvious issues,” she told Caters News.
“I was even called ‘fat’ by a few people I was trying to help, and it was really disheartening.”
Vanessa realized she wanted to lead a healthier lifestyle when she had to wear a seat belt extension on a plane. That incident, coupled with rude comments from her patients, was the real catalyst.
“There was no denying I was unhealthy and overweight,” she said. “If ever I was advising a patient about their nutrition, I could always see their eyebrows raise in disbelief… It hurt, and eventually, I realized I needed to do something about it. That’s when I joined the gym and decided I had to change.”
Vanessa quit fast food. Without pills, shakes, or surgery, she steadily began to lose weight. She lost 56 pounds in a year, and that was enough to keep going.
In total, she dropped 154 pounds.
“Before, I was embarrassed to talk to people about their diet. Now, I’ve never been better placed to help people, as I know what it’s like,” she said. “Being healthy has made me a better nurse and a happier person. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
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