‘I’ve been dealing with depression my entire life,’says 35-year-old JessOrnellas-Brand. ‘And with depression comes either a lack of appetite or bouts of comfort eating and, sadly, it was the latter for me. I’ve done a lot of yo-yo dieting, losing weight and gaining it again, because I’m an emotional eater. I got into a cycle of losing a good amount of weight, then putting it back on – with a bit extra. It was just so frustrating!’
A more agonising concern for Jess was the constant stomach pain she experienced, and doctors were unable to tell her what the problem was. Following a string of hospital visits and medical procedures with no solution forthcoming, Jess found herself in a dark place.
‘Every single thing I ate hurt me,’ she says. ‘The pain would cause me to faint, and none of the pain medication helped. I had cameras inserted from all directions and all they could see was that I had a hiatus hernia and extreme inflammation of the gut, but no explanation as to why. Every single doctor told me I had IBS, but I didn’t agree. I had to find a way out of the hellhole I was in.’
When Jess noticed that her 12-year-old son Corey had turned to comfort eating after being bullied at school, she decided it was time for them both to make a lifestyle change.
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