Australian Barbie fan Kayla Lavende loses 90 pounds
As a plus-sized child, Kayla Lavende lived vicariously through Barbie.
Her parents gave her a doll every week as a reward for coping with her rapid weight gain.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Kayla shares her weight loss journey
Although she tipped the scales at 155kg at her peak weight, she never let her XXXXL size stop her from dressing like her favorite doll.
But she knew she had to regain her weight once and for all after a “mortifying” experience where she was unable to buckle up in her seat on an airplane.
So the 37-year-old, who was originally from Sydney but now lives in Las Vegas, has slimmed down to a petite size after losing 92kg and up to 11 dress sizes following gastric sleeve surgery .
“I’ve been on a yo-yo diet all my life – but made the choice to change my lifestyle forever after a very uncomfortable plane trip where I needed two seats and an extender. seat belt,” she said. 7life.
Her parents tried everything to help Kayla after noticing her rapid weight gain as a child.
“I was always with doctors, dietitians, nutritionists…trying to figure out why I was so overweight at such a young age,” she says.
“So as a reward for having to deal with all of that, my parents bought me a Barbie every week because I just loved her and everything about her style.
Growing up as a plus size kid I had to wear plus size women’s clothes so I lived vicariously through Barbie – Kayla Lavende
“Growing up as a plus-size kid in the ’90s, I had to wear plus-size women’s clothes — there weren’t a lot of fun options, so I lived vicariously through Barbie. She inspired me to get creative and create my own outfits.
“I love that Barbie says ‘you can be anything’ – so I thought I could be anything too.”
As an adult, Kayla – who wore clothes sizes 26 to 28 – found herself starving all day before gorging on unhealthy foods before bed.
“I worked long hours and went without food during the day,” she says. 7life.
“It was only late at night, when I came home from work, I would starve and indulge in fast food or pasta and fall straight to sleep.”
“I love that Barbie says ‘you can be anything’ – so I thought I could be anything too” – Kayla Lavende
Her turning point came in 2018 when she turned to gastric sleeve surgery where she had 80% of her stomach removed.
“After the operation, I felt energized and like a whole new woman with the fresh start I needed. I had a lot of mental clarity,” she says.
“But I knew it wasn’t the be-all and end-all. I knew I had to change my whole lifestyle. Obviously because of the surgery my portions were much smaller, but I have everything learned about nutrition and what my body needed versus what I wanted.
She learned to fuel her body with healthy and nutritious foods.
“I eliminated carbs, sugar and processed foods. I incorporated high protein foods and prepared meals,” she said.
“I also started working out every day. First it started with walking, then I progressed to jogging. Now I start every morning with a jog. I also started to incorporate bodybuilding.
After the operation, it took him two years to lose 92 kg. Later, she had the excess skin around her skin removed.
Kayla’s healthy day on a plate
Breakfast: Protein shake every morning
Morning snack: Raw unsalted almonds
Breakfast: Season the turkey breast or ground chicken
Afternoon snack: Nuts or a protein bar
Having dinner: Usually the same as lunch
Kayla says she now eats a healthier diet – and no longer indulges in her ‘guilty pleasures’.
“My favorite thing to do is freeze my protein shake and eat it like ice cream,” she explains.
“If I’m craving sweets, I’ll have a protein cookie or a protein chocolate bar — never the usual sugar-filled chocolates.”
Her quick and effective exercise routine is to “run for a minute then walk for a minute.”
“Repeat this for 20 to 30 minutes – it definitely gets your heart rate up and you’re sweating in no time. I do this every day and do strength training three times a week,” she says.
Thinking back to old photos, Kayla says she feels “proud” of herself.
“I’m so proud of the girl in the ‘before’ pictures because she’s the one who got me to where I am today,” she says.
As for her fashion, Kayla – who now wears sizes six to eight – is still inspired by her favorite childhood doll.
“I’ve always stayed true to my style – going from a Barbie size 4XL to a size petite – while transforming my body,” she says. 7life.
“Barbie pushed me to jazz up my own outfits. From jazzing up my own outfits, I started making my own outfits. I never let my size stop me from dressing bright, vibrant and colorful .
“Fast forward to when I became an adult, I moved to Las Vegas where I started working as a costume designer. Honestly, I have Barbie to thank for all of that.
‘Honestly, I have Barbie to thank for all of this’ – Kayla Lavende
For anyone struggling to lose weight, Kayla says she “highly recommends considering bariatric surgery.”
“It’s not an easy fix – you still have to work,” she says.
“I would also tell anyone looking to lose weight that consistency is key and don’t focus on a number on the scale, focus on consistency.”