Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman's Incredible Transformation After Struggling To Fit Into Restaurant Chairs


Freya Symons, 29, from Andover in Hampshire, England, had hit a low point. At 388 pounds, she was in a vicious cycle of grief-eating and fertility issues.

Her problems began after she suffered through three miscarriages and took to eating to comfort herself. That caught up to her, and before she hit 30, she knew something had to change.

“I’d been bigger than my friends for my entire life but my rapid weight gain started in my 20’s,” she said, according to Metro. “I went through three miscarriages too and I comfort ate during those hard times.”

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“I would wake up every morning and while looking in the mirror I would tell myself I looked disgusting. It was such a vicious cycle as I felt depressed so I ate more to compensate but then I ended up feeling even worse.”

She said that though she didn’t eat fast food constantly, she gained weight quickly due to huge portion sizes and a tendency to snack on sugary treats.

Her biggest fear was not being able to fit in chairs, which was its own embarrassing misery. It got to the point where she wouldn’t go to a restaurant unless she could research their seating first and make sure she’d fit.

“I was terrified of going somewhere new and not being able to fit in the seats,” she said. “The chair fear was due to experiences of not being able to fit in chairs while I was on a cruise.”

“I was left in tears as I was so embarrassed.”

Desperate to change, Symons paid $13,000 for gastric sleeve surgery, taking up much of her savings and requiring financing for the rest. But the procedure to remove 80 percent of her stomach was well worth it in Symons’ estimation.

“I decided to have the gastric sleeve surgery last April and it was the best decision I’ve ever made,” she confirmed.

“Surgery is no way the easy route to lose weight but I felt like it was my only option after exhausting so many diets over the years.”

“I got married in October last year and doctors did recommend losing weight after my fertility struggles. There was no reason why I couldn’t carry my own baby full term which is why it was blamed on my size.”

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Since the surgery, she’s lost 147 pounds and has a goal weight of 168. She’s overhauled her diet, started exercising four times a week and is much more careful about what she snacks on.

‘I have swapped the sugary snacks for fruit and protein-based products,” she explained. “I feel and look like a different person and I can’t wait to hit my goal weight of [168 lbs].”

“I’ve gone from a size 32 or 34 at my biggest to 16 or 18 now. A lot of people have said I look unrecognizable but I also feel like a new person too. I’m going to wait before trying to have a baby now as I want to enjoy myself for a while as I have a new lease of life. “

“I also have a new business called Mye Prints, which I want to focus on too.”

With personal goals and a new business to motivate her, there’s no reason Symons shouldn’t be able to achieve the challenge she’s set for herself.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking