A nurse has shed over half of her body weight after feeling embarrassed to tell overweight patients to slim down.
Katie Burgauer, a nurse from Florida, has inspired others after halving her 20 stone figure in a year.
The 26 year old had ‘struggled’ with her weight for as long as she could remember. Despite being active when she was younger, she continued to gain weight which was made worse when her mum tragically died in a car accident.
Katie recalls how she battled to keep off the pounds in an Instagram post writing, ‘By the time I was a teenager I was totally miserable. I hated the way I looked and felt. I was depressed all the time and my weight was a constant reminder of my weakness.’
Katie remembers how she felt ‘addicted’ to junk food and was caught in a binging cycle, which became an emotional crutch when her mother passed away.
‘In 2013 my mother died in a tragic car accident. My weight spiralled out of control and I reached an all time low- with my highest documented weight of 283 pounds.’
At her heaviest Katie had grown to a size XXL in scrubs which she had to order in for work.
But ultimately, it was her job working at a hospital that saved her, as she became aware of the health risks of being obese and was ashamed to tell overweight patients to lose weight themselves.
‘Working as a nurse with bariatrics patients I became terrified that if I didn’t make a change, my health was going to go downhill in the up coming years.’
In September 2015 she turned to gastric sleeve surgery and had a two-hour operation to remove part of her stomach, therefore restricting the amount she could eat.
‘I thought I could be happy looking in the mirror, rather than hating what I saw.
‘I knew if I didn’t make the appointment there and then, I’d chicken out.’
Despite being hit with a worrying complication after she contracted pneumonia and her kidneys began to shut down, Katie recovered with amazing results.
Battling through, she went on to lose 130 pounds over the next year – shrinking from a size 24 to a size 8. Katie now says she feels ‘like a different person in my scrubs’.
Comparing her transformation in her uniform, Katie said:
‘Literally crying. LITERALLY. I seriously can’t believe my own eyes. It’s crazy watching our own body change. It happens right in front of your own eyes and you don’t even realize it. I was trying on some new scrubs today because I only have one pair that fits and I figured why not do a side by side.’
Speaking to the Mirror, the nurse revealed how much better she feels in herself but that surgery is not just a fast track to losing weight.
‘I feel confident and amazing, and feel like my patients are more interested in what I say.
‘A lot of people think weight loss surgery is miraculous and that the weight just falls off, but you still have to eat healthy and exercise.’
The Mirror reports that Katie swapped fast food for a breakfast of egg and turkey bacon and tries to run three miles, four times a week.
Katie has shared her inspirational journey on social media, also documenting the excess skin she had been left with after losing so much weight, which she chose to remove with surgery.
In a before and after picture on Instagram, Katie asks followers, ‘Do you guys have a reward in mind that you want to get for yourself once you reach your goal?—my biggest reward for myself was my excess skin removal.’
Followers have praised Katie for her transformation, flooding her posts with comments such as, ‘Your transformation is admirable. Keep up the good work!’ and ‘Aweee, I bet your mom would be so proud of you for doing it! @kburg21 I bet she is looking down on you now and constantly sending you ❤!’.