By Rafaela Kuznec @RafaelaKuznec

AFTER a suicide attempt a 25-year-old woman has turned her life around by losing half of her body weight

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Videographer / director: Alec Gary, Marcus Cooper

Producer: Rafaela Kuznec, James Thorne   

Editor: James Thorne

 

Summer Stultz, from Virginia, has lost over 200lbs weighing from 410lbs to 195lbs.

Summer has been suffering from weight issues since her childhood and believed she was "born to be fat."

She told Barcroft TV: “There were a lot of bullies growing up, but I almost built a shield against them.

“I always called myself ‘the funny fat friend’ because I was always making fun of myself for other people to laugh but of course I wasn’t laughing inside.”

Summer admitted that carrying all the weight was extremely exhausting: “Anything physical was a strain either on my knees or my heart.”

Even the doctor’s visits became a challenge as Summer has been constantly judged for being obese: “I knew what the doctors were going to say… a lot of the doctors that spoke with my mum told her that she was basically doing something wrong, and I knew that upset her and I didn’t want to see her that way.”

The 25-year-old has taken back control of her life after going through depression and trying to take her own life.

After waking up in a hospital bed following her suicide attempt she realised she needed to make drastic changes in her lifestyle and take back control of her life.

Summer said: “What actually sparked my weight loss journey was getting to the lowest point of my life – feeling like no one understood me, no one understood what I was going through, no one could help me and I just felt completely alone and it wasn’t until a suicide attempt that literally changed my life, that I kind of woke up.

“I realised I can't go back to living the same life that I was or this might happen again and seeing the look on my parents face in the hospital waking up it was just like an automatic switch.

“And I decided I am going to change my life.”

Summer started a healthy diet and exercising which led her to lose over 200lbs.

But after working so hard to lose half of her weight, Summer was left with a huge amount of loose skin which, according to her, was “very debilitating mentally.”

She said: “I am happy with what my body has accomplished but aesthetically I am not as pleased as I feel I could be, so many people tell me to wear my skin as a trophy but I also look at it like my skin is a reminder of the weight that I used to carry and it just feels like baggage.”

Summer decided to go under the knife to get rid of the excess skin caused by the weight loss.

She said: “I really wanted to see the body that I’ve been working for so long and I knew at a point that the only way I was going to do that was trough having skin removal surgery.

“Going into consultation I was told that I had about 15 to 20 pounds of excess skin.”

Summer, speaking before her surgery, said: “At this point in my journey I look at myself as the butterfly that is stuck in a cocoon.

“Once I have my skin removed and once I can finally feel like I have the body that I have worked so hard for I feel like I will be the butterfly.”

Today Summer says she can finally feel her true self and has never felt more confident and proud of herself.

Describing her life after the surgery, she said: “My life has completely changed after surgery, I have so much more confidence, people have always seen me as a confident person, but I see the confidence in myself now.

“Every time that I walk outside and when I am in a public I just feel comfortable, I feel normal.”

She added: “It has taken so much out of me psychically and mentally to get where I am today so I am just so proud of myself.

“So starting out as the caterpillar at the very beginning of my journey, moving to the cocoon and finally breaking free, I feel like I'm finally the butterfly.

“I feel like I am finally Summer.”

Summer recorded her weight loss journey on her social media in order to help others with their journeys.

Summer said: “Don't let anyone's negative comments or backlash deter you from finding happiness within yourself and being comfortable in your own body.”