Georgie is unrecognizable after slimming down her 20st 11lb body.
A size 22 woman who gorged on 4,000 calories a day to cope with the crippling OCD she developed overnight has transformed her body.
Georgie Callé, 25, had a horrifying nightmare in 2016 that sparked an eight-month battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and caused her to massively comfort eat.
But now she has beaten the condition, overhauled her diet and shed an incredible nine stone.
At her 20st 11lb heaviest, Georgie would eat burgers, chips, and pizzas as well as snacking on multiple Mars bars and one family-sized bar of chocolate a day.
Overweight since childhood, she had previously suffered from and overcome anxiety.
She finally felt comfortable in her own skin and saw being a “big girl” as part of her identity – until the nightmare struck.
Georgie, who lives with her boyfriend of 18 months Josh, also 25, in West Hampstead, north London, said: “It started from a really horrendous nightmare about me hurting somebody. I spent eight months terrified it would come true.
“I didn’t understand at the time that I had OCD. I just felt like a horrible person.
“I’d cross the street to avoid being around people. It affected my concentration at work, my social life – it permeated everything. I felt so alone in my head and tried to control it with binge eating.”
Now, having sought help from a counselor, Georgie has overcome her OCD – and completely revolutionized her life, even managing to drop six dress sizes.
Currently 11st 9lb – 12lb away from her goal weight – she continued: “In the past, I felt like everything in my life was wrong because I was overweight.
“But this time, I didn’t lose weight because I felt bad about myself. It was because I wanted to be healthy. I’ve now learned that you can achieve anything, so long as you give yourself a chance and a break.”
Looking back, Georgie, who works in technology PR, can now see that her unhealthy relationship with food began when she was around 11 years old.
Finding that she gained weight much more easily than her classmates, she was bullied for her size, which caused awful anxiety.
“From a young age, I was constantly trying to lose weight in one way or another,” she said. “The heart of the problem was that I was deeply unhappy though.”
Eventually, Georgie developed a form of binge eating disorder, secretly snacking on family-sized chocolate bars, and hiding sweets in her bedside table.
Aged 14, she joined Weight Watchers for the first time, by then weighing 14st 6lb.
Over the course of six months, she managed to lose around the three-and-a-half stone.
“I’d thought for so long that if I lost weight, I’d get some friends, people would like me more and the bullying would stop,” she candidly admitted.
“But that didn’t happen, so I soon put all the weight back on.”
Though she was still overweight, Georgie found that moving schools for her A Levels and finding a new, supportive group of friends did wonders for her confidence.
She continued: “For the first time, I realised I didn’t need to be defined by my size. I was finally proud of myself and the things I was achieving, like getting involved in politics and working in Parliament during my gap year.
“It felt so liberating to let all those worries go.
“I was still living an unhealthy lifestyle, but I figured I’d lose weight eventually and wanted to allow myself to enjoy my youth. I got to a point where, though in denial about just how unhealthy my eating habits were, I was actually very body positive. Being a bigger girl was part of my identity.”
When she started university in 2012, Georgie weighed around 16 stone.
By then, her eating habits were so ingrained that her diet was worse than ever.
On a typical day, she’d have a bacon sandwich for breakfast, a calorie-laden pasta dish for lunch and ready meal with an entire loaf of garlic bread for dinner.
On top of this, she’d snack throughout the day, eating multiple Mars bars, jelly babies and a family-sized bar of chocolate.
Graduating three years later, she’d gained more weight, settling at around 17st.
“In my head, I didn’t care because other parts of my life were going well,” she said. “I secured a good graduate job and had an amazing set of friends – I was happy. Why would I need to change?”
But then, one day, totally out the blue in February 2016, Georgie woke from an awful nightmare feeling overwhelmed with anxiety.
Before long, she’d developed OCD, which went on to rule the next eight months of her life.
Feeling too afraid to speak out, she found solace in food, using it as a control mechanism.
Over the months that followed she gained around three extra stone.
“I’d felt strong enough to tackle anxiety in the past, but this was completely different,” she said. “It’s a very misunderstood condition. I didn’t even realise I had it myself until I read an online article about another person with it, and thought, ‘Oh my god, that’s me.’”
Finally realising what was wrong, Georgie sought help from the doctor and at the end of 2016, was given counseling and medication.
She also had a course of cognitive behavioral therapy and read a book called Break Free From OCD to help her understand what was happening.
“I found the space to talk and learn about what was wrong made a massive difference. The medication was the best thing that happened, it reset my brain,” she said.
“I could tell it was finally getting under control when the medication began to work. I could feel a weight lift out my head, giving me space to really embrace the cognitive behavioural therapy. I was still binge eating at this point, but didn’t feel as scared of my condition.”
Happily, 2017 started much more positively, as Georgie landed her dream job and began dating Josh, who she met at university and was initially friends with.
And interestingly, feeling in a better place gave her the push she needed to change.
“I looked around and thought, ‘Things are going well for me – why haven’t I got this sorted yet?’” she said. “I’d hear people talking about the gym or healthy eating and realised that it didn’t come naturally to anyone. If I wanted this, I’d have to work hard. I remember seeing a gorgeous Ted Baker dress that never would have fit me, even in the biggest size, so I used that as my motivation.”
In August 2017, Georgie went along to a Weight Watchers meeting.
She added: “I was nervous, as I’d no idea what to expect. I almost didn’t want to look at the scales – but when I did, I was two stone heavier than I thought. That was the point where I realised I didn’t just want to do this – I had to.”
With the support of her loved ones, Georgie stuck rigorously to her Weight Watchers plan, losing 9lb in the first week alone.
Completely overhauling her diet, eating fish, lean meats, and vegetable-packed curries, she found a passion for cooking, making fresh, healthy meals from scratch.
She also took up exercise, joining a gym in April 2018, where she’d attend five classes a week.
And, in July 2018, she discovered she’d secured a place in the 2019 London Marathon, where she’ll be running for The Mental Health Foundation – a nod to how she has managed to overcome anxiety and OCD.
Georgie, who has also started an Instagram blog about her journey called @InPursuitofHealthyness to help inspire others, said: “My anxiety and OCD are much easier to deal with. I haven’t felt unwell since I started living a healthier lifestyle.
“I was really inspired by reading other people’s stories, so I hope sharing mine can help others. My blog keeps me on track, and it’s amazing to see all the lovely messages I receive. To anyone else out there, I’d say lose weight for yourself, not other people, as it’s so important to learn how to love yourself.”
Follow Georgie on Instagram at @InPursuitofHealthyness and sponsor her marathon run at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GeorgieCalle
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