…to this – stunning!
We are lucky enough to have some fantastic clients and it’s always lovely to see their reactions when we show them the results of their photoshoots with us.
But sometimes, the images we take are extra special because of the journey that person has been on to get to this point – and we’re not talking about mileage! This week, we were delighted to meet the lovely Emily Case, who had booked a makeover and studio session to celebrate losing weight – a whole 13.5 stones of it!
It was an emotional experience, as the last time Emily had posed for studio portraits, for a family photograph last year to mark her grandfather’s birthday, she was so unhappy with the way she looked that she desperately hoped her parents wouldn’t buy the prints. She told us she didn’t recognise the uncomfortable-looking girl in those photographs.
But this week, after shrinking from a size 28 to a 10 in just 18 months, she couldn’t wait to see the results!
Emily, 22, who works as a trainee mortgage advisor and also has her own business as a nail technician, told us she had struggled with her weight since childhood and went on her first ‘diet’ aged just eight.
Years of cruel comments left her with very little self-confidence; her self-esteem was at an all-time low and her family were growing more and more concerned about her health. After many failed diets, her parents took her to have some blood tests and the results showed Emily suffers with hypothryoidism. The condition runs in the family and it left her feeling depressed, fatiqued and struggling to lose weight.
Emily hit breaking point after seeing pictures of herself at a wedding reception and this time she decided to finally take control for good. She began taking medication for her underactive thyroid and went on a calorie-controlled diet.
She told us: “I lost three stone myself but I had done a lot of research about the science of weight loss and I knew that a large percentage of morbidly obese people regain most of weight they lose within a few years. ”
“The odds were not in my favour and I really wanted to make sure that this time I turned things around completely.”
In June 2014, Emily took the drastic step of paying for private weight-loss surgery to give her the best chance of keeping the weight off for good.
She said: “I had been offered a gastric band when I was 16 but I turned it down. But this time I felt ready to make the changes and the surgery gave me the kick start I needed.”
Pre-surgery, Emily led a very sedentary life, sitting for up to 10 hours a day working as a nail technician. Instead of eating a balanced diet of healthy meals, she grabbed whatever was to hand in between seeing clients. In just 18 months, she put on approximately four stone thanks to her bad habits.
But now, she has a new love of sport and enjoys running, clocking up an average of 10 miles per week. She has also taken up horse-riding – something she enjoyed as a child but couldn’t do for years because of her weight.
Emily also eats a high-protein, low-carb diet with strict portion control, eating around 1,200 calories a day to maintain her weight. Unlike a gastric band, which can be adjusted to control the amount of food a person can eat, she opted for a gastric bypass, which is permanent. Surgeons sectioned off a small part of her stomach, connecting it directly to the small intestine, meaning it takes less food for her to feel full, and fewer calories are absorbed from whatever she eats.
Emily said: “Despite the weight loss, I don’t really feel any different until I look in the mirror! I had been in denial about how big I was. I knew what size my clothes were when I was bigger but I rarely looked in the mirror back then and I hated seeing photos of myself.
“When I had some photos taken early last year for a family portrait, I didn’t recognise myself. I hated those pictures. But with Doug and Sheila at Style Photography, I felt so confident and at ease.
“I wanted to treat myself to the photos to celebrate reaching my goal and to have proof of the difference in myself; not just physically but emotionally too. It has been a long journey but it is lovely to know that the girl in those photos is me.”
It certainly is – and we’re delighted to be part of that celebration.