A lifelong fast food addict has revealed that she is now 38lbs lighter than she was at the age of TEN after losing almost half her bodyweight.
Alicia Briggs, 24, gorged on McDonald’s, Taco Bell, pizza and ready meals from a young age and weighed a staggering 198lbs in fifth grade.
The photo lab assistant continued to pile on the pounds in her teens and at her heaviest point tipped the scales at 271lbs.
At the age of 23 Alicia decided to undergo weight loss surgery after doctors warned her size could affect her ability to have children.
The op, in Turkey in August last year, reduced the capacity of her stomach meaning she was physically unable to eat the huge portions she enjoyed before.
It helped 5ft8ins Alicia lose 110lbs and slim down from an XXXL to a medium, and now weighs 160lbs – 38lbs less than she did aged 10.
The glam brunette, of Kansas City, Missouri, said: “It’s crazy to think that I actually currently weigh less than I did in elementary school.
“My mother is overweight and unfortunately she didn’t teach me the best eating habits so I suffered greatly with child obesity and bullying.
“As I grew older I ate fast food 24/7. I was in the mindset of, ‘I’m going to be like this forever.’ I thought I was never going to be a success story.
“I feel like deep down I am the same person now as I was then but when I wake up in the morning my thoughts are different and I’m so much happier.
“I always used to hate my body but now I feel I look good.
“People are shocked when they see how I look. I’ve even had people from the cool crowd at school reach out to congratulate me.
“It’s totally changed my life.”
Alicia says she grew up eating takeout and mac and cheese and was the biggest and tallest kid in her class from a young age.
She said: “I’ve been overweight ever since I was young and in 5th grade, when I was ten, I weighed 198lbs.
“That’s the first time I remember weighing myself. You line up and go in a classroom and they take down your weight.
“My entire class knew and I was at least 100lbs more than everyone else.
“Children were nasty. They would call me names and say I was ugly and fat and exclude me from games and sports because I was different.
“I remember that I came home crying one day because a child on the bus had called me fat.”
The jibes prompted her to experiment with fad diets like Weight Watchers, low carb and high protein but none worked and she continued to gain weight.
Her turning point came when doctors said she might be infertile as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome linked to her weight, which she was diagnosed with in March 2016.
Alicia said: “One of my main goals in life is to have kids and hearing that I might have difficulties really scared me.
“I decided to have surgery because I felt like it was the best option for me.
“I knew it was possible to do it on my own but every time I had tried since the age of eight it hadn’t worked.”
Alicia underwent a vertical sleeve gastrectomy in August 2016 in Turkey, where she was working at the time as a nanny.
The procedure cost $6,000 and reduced the size of her stomach by around 80 per cent.
For the next 45 days she was on a restrictive diet of clear liquids and later soft foods like yoghurt and mashed potatoes.
It led to the weight “dropping off insanely quickly”, said Alicia, who is currently saving up for surgery to remove the excess skin she was left with.
Now she can eat normal portions and for breakfast typically has shakes followed by chicken and rice for lunch, home-cooked dinners and nuts and crackers for snacks.
By contrast, before the op she would gorge on leftovers like pizza or Chinese for breakfast and fast food for lunch and dinner, and snack on cookies and chips.
Alicia, who met boyfriend, musician Rick Cole, 32, in February, also tries to work out five days a week for an hour and is studying to become a personal trainer.
The super-slimmer, who has even launched her own brand, Alicia BeWell, added: “Unfortunately when you have weight loss surgery people criticize the way you did it.
“But I have spent my whole life being judged and I did what I had to do.
“If people come up to me and ask how I did it, I say I tried to change my relationship with food and I’m very open about the fact I have had surgery.
“I feel great.”
Alicia documented her journey on Instagram @aliciabewell.