In Success Stories

Colleen | lost over 13 kg and 115 cms

I have been overweight for at least 25 years where my doctor put me into the obese category. Yes I was overweight most of that time but tried many diets and spent many thousands of dollars on lotions and potions and gym fees only to regain the bit of weight I may lose plus more. This yo-yo dieting was a way of life for me. One thing that really got to me was my disproportionate body shape. I had a relatively small waist however from the waist down was so much larger than the top half. I mean a lot bigger. Big hips and thighs and even my usually slim ankles were getting bigger. 

I used to despair when buying clothes. In the end I was in a AU size 18/20 pants and a 16 up to a 20 top so it was big enough to try and hide my hips and thighs. I would lose up to 10 kilos on some of these diets but my shape didn’t change. 

I spoke to my doctor about my weight many, many times and sometimes he would prescribe slimming tablets that worked for a while but nothing really changed. The bottom half was just blown out of proportion. My doctor said many times that my shape was due to my genetics and I would always be this way so I had no incentive to try. 
It was depressing and embarrassing because the difference was so noticeable that my self-confidence was shot to pieces. This went on for years and years. Yo-yo dieting losing weight things changed but everything stayed the same. As I aged the dieting and the mental damage was done. 

One Sunday I was reading Body and Soul supplement in the Sunday Telegraph. I was interested when I saw the headlines at the top of the page. Are You Bottom Heavy and Out of Proportion, or words to that effect. It immediately caught my attention and I read the article with great interest. Right there and then I self-diagnosed Lipoedema. I knew I was right. I went to my GP the next day and told him what I had discovered and asked him how he could treat this condition. He looked at me like I had my undies on my head and said he’d never heard of it. He knew about Lymphoedema but nothing about the other. I think he thought I was grasping at straws. He sent me into a room with a student doctor and my GP sat on a chair with his arms folded and told me to repeat my story to the student. He shrugged his shoulders and had no idea. Now imagine that this was a doctor for our future generations and he had not been taught about this debilitating disease that had been discovered and treated in Germany generation’s before. 

I didn’t give up. I researched the beejesis out of Google and found a clinic in my local Hospital in Wollongong that had a physio trained to diagnose Lipoedema and give me treatment options. I was right and formally diagnosed with the disease. 

The different treatment options that were explained to me but the options were disappointing. First the only cure was liposuction and that was like \$14000 so that was out. Didn’t want to put my 70 year old body through that anyway. Then I was measured for compression garments for my entire bottom half which are uncomfortable at best and very hot and then told I needed to have a lymphatic drainage massage several times a month. That was at my own cost. The compression garments were subsidised by the government and my contribution was \$100 per year for which I was very grateful. And all this was just to keep the disease from progressing to a more difficult stage. There are 4 stages and I was stage 2. No cure so this was my life from here on in. 

Walking became painful. My legs were just so heavy and ached and sore to touch. My thighs were and are lumpy with pads of swollen fatty tissue on my thighs , hips , butt, and ankles. It was so depressing but I accepted what couldn’t be changed but hated it and my body. 

Fast forward to August 1 2020. I was searching for something to give me a purpose to get me out of bed of a morning and have some kind of purpose. I lost my husband and the love of my life and soulmate in March 2020. Very suddenly. I performed CPR and mouth to mouth but to no avail. My world crashed down around me and my life and my world as I’m knew  it was over. I was in despair and when I saw the August 30DC came up on Facebook I was intrigued and thought that maybe if I had something to focus on it may help with the grieving process and it did. 

I didn’t expect too much. I knew my shape wouldn’t change but I owed it to my family to pull myself out of this dark hole so I joined and then went on to TKS and the rest is history.

I’ve lost a tad over 13 kg and 115 cms. But the best part my shape has changed dramatically and my bottom half has responded to my diet too. I’ve gone down to a 14 pants and even wearing shorts. And even a size 12 at times depending where I buy the clothes but I would say a 14 and still going down.

I am rejoicing in my new shape and I read an article on Safari last night while researching any new treatment that may benefit my condition. I will attach part of a document that I discovered that recommended a ketogenic diet. I was so pleased with the knowledge that there was at last some research was going on to find helpful treatments for me and the other thousands of ladies around the world. 

I accept I probably will never be properly proportioned body wise but I am ecstatic that I can feel normal and be proud of my shape and my efforts and this whole new way of life. 

Colleen O’Dea 

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