By Jasmine Kazlauskas
An obese mum who was caught PHOTOSHOPPING pictures of herself to appear thinner has since deleted the app after dropping nearly seven stone and five dress sizes.
Mum-of-one Morgan Gossage once tipped the scales at a whopping 17st 12lbs [255lb/113kg] – while her wardrobe was overflowing with frumpy size 18 clothes.
The 30-year-old, from Houston, Texas, USA, said she had always maintained a healthy weight and slender physique growing up as her mother was a nutrition expert and her father owned a gym.
But after leaving home for college in her teens, Morgan’s weight spiralled out of control as she became addicted to junk food.
Morgan became so ashamed of her size that she took to editing pictures of herself in order look thinner – but was mortified when a close friend called her out on it after spotting some ‘weird photoshopping’ on her chin, arms, breasts and collarbone.
But after starting her weight loss journey just over a year ago, Morgan has no need for photoshop anymore after losing an incredible 6st 13lbs [43kg/95lbs] and five dress sizes – and is now more confident than ever flaunting her brand new 11st 1lbs [70kg/155lbs] size eight figure.
Stay-at-home mum Morgan said: “I taught myself to Photoshop images when my weight reached its worst in an attempt to make myself look better but I didn’t know what I was doing.
“I wanted to share some photos my husband Matt took some photos of me breastfeeding but I looked terrible.
“After poorly editing one of the images, I sent it to my friend who asked me straight away if I’d edited it because I looked ‘weird’.
“I tried to lie my way out of it, I was so embarrassed.
“I’d developed that addiction to food during college and it just continued. For the first time I had a job, and I had this freedom of being able to eat whatever I wanted to whenever I wanted to.
“I grew up in such a healthy household, my parents were always focused on nutrition and exercise as they worked in that industry.
“Everyone comes back from college a little puffy, but people did not even recognise me.
“My parents were worried, as I’d gone from the shining athlete to having my health deteriorate quickly.”
After Morgan gave birth to her daughter Presley, now four, in February 2015, she said the stresses of being a new mum meant she neglected her own health, which saw her rapidly gain more weight.
And with the convenience of multiple food delivery apps at her fingertips, Morgan’s junk food addiction intensive – with the mum revealing she would often ‘sneakily’ order a large calorie-laden serving of buffalo wings twice a day.
She said: “It’s so common for new moms to give everything to our babies. It’s easy to neglect ourselves.
“I was always at home, and with all the food delivery apps it’s so easy to get anything you want.
“It became a daily routine for me to put on Netflix and order buffalo wings. It was such a rush knowing they were coming, I’d get so excited.
“It was such a shameful thing. I’d even hide all the packaging from my husband, Matt, 33, and then suggest we have buffalo wings for dinner, so I’d get to have them again.”
Morgan said she never truly realised how ‘obese and unhealthy’ she had become until seeing an ‘unflattering’ photograph of herself and her daughter while at the zoo in September 2017.
Frightened for her health. Morgan called her nutrition expert mum Carol for help, who selflessly jumped on the very next flight from Texas to Pennsylvania, where Morgan was living at the time.
The pair spent two weeks together preparing nutritious meals and working out at the gym everyday in order to kick-start Morgan’s weight loss.
The mum has not looked back since and now, just over a year later, has completely transformed herself after switching to a keto style low carb, high fat, high protein diet – which also working out five times a week, mainly focusing on weights with some light cardio.
She said: “A huge turning point for me was when I saw a picture of my daughter and myself at the zoo and I looked so uncomfortable holding her.
“It made me so sad. I knew she deserved better.
“For the first time, I truly saw what I looked like. I thought it would be an Instagram-worthy picture, but I looked so old, tired and unhappy.
“I realised at that point I needed to kick my health into gear for her sake. So that night I called my mum, and said I needed help.
“She was on a plane the next day and stayed with me for two weeks.
“We went to the gym every day and meal prepped every day. She taught me all the fundamentals of a balanced meal and how to count calories, while my dad helped me plan workouts over the phone.
“That kick-started the weight loss, and I haven’t looked back. I owe them so much.
“Now that I’m healthier, I’m so much happier, and I know I can be around for my daughter and teach her valuable health advice like my parents did for me.”
Breakfast: pancakes and bacon
Mid-morning Snack: Mac and cheese
Lunch: Large sandwich and chips
Afternoon snack: buffalo wings
Dinner: fried chicken or more buffalo wings
Dessert: Ice cream
Breakfast: strawberry banana protein smoothie
Mid-morning Snack: handful of almonds
Lunch: tuna salad with mustard, light mayo and cucumber
Afternoon snack: two egg whites or hard-boiled eggs
Dinner: chicken Breast or lean protein, with sweet potato and salad or veggies and olive oil
Dessert: Occasional keto treat