Kayla explains she was an active child. She played hockey, softball, volleyball, and was even active in track and field. Despite her being such an active child, Kayla says she grew up with "toxic eating habits," and because of that she gained weight. In fact, Kayla attributes a major component of her obesity to her childhood eating habits including the fact that her and her siblings were never limited. They could eat whatever and whenever.
Of course, Kayla also knows that her childhood eating habits are not the only thing that led to her obesity and she's not been shy about sharing the intimate details that brought her where she is today.
Kayla refers to the ring of skin on her abdomen as her "apron."
"These pants are a size 14 and they are too big on me! It is unreal to me. I honestly cannot remember the last time I fit in size 14 pants was. A year ago inwas wearing 5x or size 32. Imagine if my "apron" was gone! I thought that this was impossible, but anything is possible if you set your mind to it! Next chapter is working on the loose skin! These are hard to share but important to share! I know how helpful and inspirational other women and men who did the same were for me on this journey! Nothing but love from this funky haired lady"via:Instagram
Along with unhealthy eating habits, Kayla says other experiences led to her obesity.
When she was only 14 years-old, Kayla was diagnosed with depression. Like many people with depression, Kayla used food as an escape, or as an unhealthy coping mechanism. With regular comfort eating, it wasn't long before the weight really piled on.
Then, at only 16 years-old, Kayla left home. She moved to a new city to go to college where she ended up gaining 145 pounds! The massive weight gain was not without its consequences. Since she could no longer run to the bases, she had to stop playing softball. Even worse, her boyfriend broke up with her. Matters were only made worse when she failed two college courses. Failing the courses had the devastating consequence of Kayla losing her financial aid and she was forced to drop out of college.
This was a vital turning point for Kayla.
"In complete awe. Ayear ago I was wearing 5x dresses that were still too small. On the right is my little sister's body hugging size LARGE dress! Who is this person?? "via:Instagram
Kayla sure went through the grind as she continued to gain weight but after everything in her life was going wrong she grew tired of feeling sorry for herself. It was then that she began a 13-month commitment to a "pre-operation process,"which would give her access to a government-funded program for gastric bypass surgery.
That 13 month process included Kayla having to prove she could commit to a major lifestyle change in order to reap the benefits of the surgical weight loss procedure.
She cut out fatty, unhealthy foods and practiced portion control, all while keeping a detailed journal of her lifestyle changes. As well, she began exercising regularly. All of that together made a resounding statement to her doctor, a dietitian, and a social worker that she was capable making her lifestyle changes permanent.
Next up was surgery!
Kayla underwent surgery in February of 2016via:Distractify
The surgery forced Kayla to "quit her drug of choice cold turkey," and made weight loss so much easier and it wouldn't have happened without the help of the Canadian government.
"HOLY SHIT! I have lost 187 pounds and gained more than I can ever begin to describe to you! Unless you have been through it there's no way to describe the feeling. I am an entirely different person and yet the same. I can live my life however I want to now, no restrictions. "via:Instagram
So what is Kayla up to now? The Canadian government may have covered her weight loss surgery, having a profound impact on her life and health, but removing the excess skin she's now left with is a whole different matter. Removing excess skin is a cosmetic procedure and even if it is a direct result of her government-funded surgery, the cosmetic procedure is simply not covered.
The amount of surgery Kayla needs is also no small task. She requires removal of excess skin from her arms, legs, stomach, and breasts as well as a tummy tuck. The grand total comes to a whopping $20,000 and is no small task.
At the encouragement of her followers and with the hopes that her story and journey is an inspiration to others, Kayla created a gofundme account to help her raise money for the surgery she needs to remove the excess skin.
"welp I made a go fund me account! My followers and people keep asking me to! I appreciate every share and donation given more than you know. please share with your friends and family. on your insta, twitter, fb. sending love from funky haired Kayla! gofundme.com/xvgk4q-excess-skin-removal link is also in my bio "via:Instagram
Kayla is definitely struggling with feeling larger than she actually is because of the excess skin but it hasn't dampened her sparkle. She remains positive, upbeat, and optimistic.
Kayla leaves us with one final thought:
I want to be full of life and not watch it pass me by. A positive outlook can make all the difference.
We hope Kayla achieves all of her goals and that her dreams come true, never lose that shine!