Real Life

One Day: Being stood up forced me to lose half my body weight

In the latest from our One Day series, we speak to Erica Stavinga, whose horrific dating experience brought on a life-changing weight loss journey.
Erica's weight loss

Erica's weight loss

“When I was 19 I moved to New Zealand for a fresh start. My mum’s a Kiwi but I’d grown up in Canada, so I got citizenship by default.

At the time of moving I was super depressed. I had dropped out of high school early, hidden myself away from the world and piled on the pounds – taking me to 155kgs at my biggest.

When I got to New Zealand, I had this big plan that I was going to turn my life around, lose the weight and become a new me. In actual fact, I put on more weight and simply lied to my parents about how well I was doing.

I couldn’t stick to an exercise regime or diet and continued my cycle of binge eating.

But one thing that did bring happiness to my life was a really awesome guy I started seeing. I’d never really had a boyfriend before and this guy was so handsome. He was into fitness and going to the gym, and I couldn’t believe he was interested in me.

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Erica pre weight loss

After a few months of dating, I wanted something more serious, but I could tell he was reluctant to take things further.

We agreed to meet up that evening for a date, and he never showed.

Something snapped. I wanted to be able to get any guy I wanted, not feel grateful that one person – who didn’t even treat me that well – went on dates with me.

I got home and I threw out all the candy and biscuits I owned. I drove to town and bought a bunch of active wear. There and then I decided I was going to do it; I was going to lose the weight and show him what he was missing.

The next day I joined the gym and started working out 7 days a week. Yes it was obsessive. But honestly the driving force was revenge. Whenever I felt like slacking off, I thought about the moment I would walk past him looking incredible. That was enough to keep me motivated.

The day I decided I didn’t want to die

Erica now

Erica now loves working out

After losing 20kgs over the next few months, I did fall of the wagon for a week. When I got back on I decided to get something permanent to remind me of what I was working for.

A year after starting my journey, I’d lost 76kgs, taking me to a weight of 79. And yes, I got to walk into the place my ex worked and watch his jaw hit the floor.

As I walked in, he didn’t recognise me, but as it slowly dawned on him he couldn’t believe it. He told me he still liked me and apologised for how things had ended. I told him where to stick it and walked away feeling incredible.

Now I work out just to stay healthy and happy. I used to have terrible cholesterol and high blood pressure – both of which I no longer have to worry about.

And no, I don’t have any problems getting a date now.”

If you’d like your story to be included in our #OneDay series, drop us a line at [email protected].

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