Woman forced herself to become fat after rape, gets inspired by tragedy to reinvent her life
Her story can inspire all to never let any problem in life get the better of you.
Not just physically, rape leaves its victims crushed emotionally and mentally too. Building one's ego and psyche post an incident as traumatic as rape can take years, and even decades.
As witnessed in many cases, numerous rape victims find themselves alone in a space where the road to light seems a distant reality. While some others brave the darkness within to find the ray of hope once again in their life. Then there are some like Rebecca Wass, a Nottinghamshire native, who after being raped in 2011, found comfort and relief in food.
Unfortunately, the only downside to her coping mechanism was obesity that endangered her life greatly.
"In 2011 I was sexually assaulted and I've since learned that was the trigger that caused me to pile on the pounds," Rebecca told Daily Star. "I thought that by making myself 'bigger', I'd also make myself as unattractive as possible, which would stop a situation like that happening again," she rued.
But her thoughts took a turn for the better when life threw at her a curveball she couldn't dodge. When Rebecca found out that her father Chris had been diagnosed with bowel cancer, it dawned on her that gaining pounds wasn't helping her. In fact, it was only leading to her own painful death.
"When my dad was diagnosed with cancer I knew then that if I didn’t get a handle on myself, and change the relationship with food; that I’d do more damage to my body that I already had done if the worst happened to my Dad," she explained.
Rebecca's dad Chris was a fit man. A running enthusiast who had competed in several marathons, Chris maintained optimum levels of fitness throughout his life. His cancer news really transformed the way Rebecca thought about herself.
“He was really into fitness; he ran multiple times a week and had done marathons etc, so I wanted him to be proud of me too,” she said.
A life-changing journey
Her father's terminal illness made Rebecca introspect about her own well-being and happiness, which manifested itself in the way Rebecca lived from that moment henceforth. She embarked on a fitness journey and decided to shed all the excess weight to become fitter and better, both physically and mentally.
Rebecca was assisted by the Cambridge Weight Plan for shedding all the weight piled on since 2011. For the unintended, the weight plan allows the dieter to choose a Total Diet Replacement option or select another programme which entails healthy eating alongside meal replacements.
With motivation supplementing her every day and the drive to make her father feel proud of her, Rebecca managed to lose 108lbs using the plan before her dad passed away in September 2016 at the age of 62.
Post his death, Rebecca lost another 50lbs by herself which was fuelled by her dad's love for cooking that propelled her to step into the kitchen and cook for herself—just like her father did. “It was a very hard time for the family, he was the concrete that held us all together,” Rebecca stated.
"He loved to cook, and create new concoctions in the kitchen, so I’ve found comfort in that since he passed. When I cook I feel closer to him, it’s just I’m using less cream, salt and so on, and opting for more veggies and spices than before," she added further.
"Before I lost the weight, I’d walk a little each day. But my diet wasn’t pretty, or healthy. It probably consisted of lots of pasta, curries, cheese (my weakness), lots of bread. Overall it was very stodgy and carb heavy. Now I try and make sure 70 percent of my plate (at least) is veggies, with the other 30 percent being split between protein, healthy fats and carbs," Rebecca explained.
What worked for her was a diet low in carbohydrates and drinking lots of water, that tipped the scales in her favor. "A low carb diet is what works before for me. I also drink an insane amount of water; between four to five liters a day. As for exercise I walk as much as I can, and I’m aiming to get back into some sort of gym routine in February," Rebecca divulged.
"There are so many different diet plans out there that there will be something that works for you. Stay hydrated too, half the time if you feel hungry you’re not, you’re just dehydrated," she was quoted as saying by The Sun. Rebecca, who co-owns a children’s boutique called Jak & Daisy with her mother, is extremely happy with the lifestyle metamorphosis she underwent that not only changed her from outside but healed her from within.
“Before I decided to get healthy, and make permanent lifestyle changes I was very unhappy. Looking in the mirror made me feel physically ill. I’d always come up with excuses to cancel on friends because I hated who I’d become. Then when we did go out I felt so self-conscious that I never really enjoyed a second of it," she revealed.
“Since I started becoming healthy I can do more, I’m more confident, more social and just so much happier in a lot of ways, which in my eyes is the most important thing," Rebecca proudly exclaimed.
Post her weight loss, Rebecca also underwent a tummy tuck procedure to get the excess skin removed.
But her story isn't over yet. In fact, her weight loss was only an excerpt from her book of life.
"I wouldn’t say that losing weight has changed my life. But becoming healthy both physically and mentally definitely has, and the weight loss was just part of that," she said. And now she is well on her way to discover more about herself.
“I’m 85 percent happy with myself now. I’d LOVE to say that I’m 100 percent happy with myself and how I look, but in today’s society, and with pressure from the media I don’t think any woman (or man) can say that they are 100 percent happy with themselves. There’s always room for improvement in some way, and everyone has something that they wish they could change,” she explained.
In the end, what began as a journey to attain overall fitness managed to bring Rebecca out of her mental and emotional for her good.
She said: "I grew as a person, any survivor of sexual assault will instantly blame themselves, and that’s what I did. Being in the right frame of mind is the most important thing; you’ve got to want to make healthy changes for you, and no one else. But I’ve since realized that I didn’t control the attacker's actions, and so I shouldn’t blame myself,” she proudly proclaimed.
Kudos to your spirit, woman.
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