Queensland mum’s 50kg weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery

An obese Queensland mum, who spent over $960 per month on junk food, dropped 50kg and seven dress sizes after overhauling her diet.

Zarshua Mack, 31, says her bad eating began spiraling out of control in her late teens and her self-confidence was at an all-time low after she reached 123 kilos.

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The mum-of-two from Brisbane revealed that she would splash out on snacks and fast food on a daily basis despite having her dinner earlier that evening.

Mack admits she was an ‘emotional eater’ and would often eat a large kebab and chips ‘out of boredom’, something that cost her $31 per day.

Despite the money spent per month being high, Zarshua said it easily added up as she would indulge four times a week on a large kebab and chips, thai green curry and sweet treats such as ice cream and chocolate


Now the recruitment consultant feels more confident than ever flaunting her 72kg body after undergoing weight loss surgery in March 2019.

She said: “My husband and I sat down at the start of the year and looked at our finances – we were mortified by the amount wasted on food.

“We can now put the money towards our children’s future.

“The main reason for getting the surgery other than to lose weight was to change habits, to grow mentally and to have a lifestyle I wanted to be proud of.

“As a mum and a wife, it is hard to put yourself first but I had to and I couldn’t be happier as I finally feel worthy.

“My family has blossomed and grown so much closer as we have moved back to the city, I am working again and we spend more time positively together.

“I didn’t want to teach my boys Zayn, eight and Atley, four to reward themselves with food.”

‘Felt like a cheat’

Mack says she was hesitant about getting a gastric sleeve – which involves removing part of the stomach – as she felt like a cheat opting for an easy way out.

She added: “I felt like a fraud for a few weeks post-op but it was my only option and I have used it as a tool that helped me start exercising again.

‘I want to break the stigma.’

“I want to break the stigma and show people I’m not lazy, I just needed a kick start.

“I can now work out and tie my own shoelaces with ease.”

‘Piled on the pounds’

Despite spending her childhood as a competitive swimmer, Zarusha began to ‘pile on the pounds’ following the birth of her children.

She said: “I was athletic throughout my teens and I had to eat high-calorie meals to ensure I had the energy when swimming or playing basketball.

“But when I got to 19, I began partying and stopped playing sports but continued to eat large portions.

“I tried every diet in the book but I could never stick to it and after the birth of my children Zayn, eight and Atley, four, I piled on the weight even more.


“I was a stay-at-home mum for eight years and boredom would make me eat.

“My husband Martin, 32, worked in the mines in a remote town called Karratha – there wasn’t anything to do other than have a BBQ which came hand in hand with drinking, smoking and overeating.

“Even when I would pick my kids up from sporting activities, there would be a BBQ so I would eat loads of hot dogs there before dinner.

‘I would eat if I was happy and eat if I was sad.’

“I was constantly going out of my way to buy takeouts and instantly feel bad after which would lead to more eating.

“I was an emotional eater meaning I would eat if I was happy and eat if I was sad.

“I was depressed and desperate to work but the cost of child care was too pricey and I began to feel unworthy.

“Despite cooking healthy dinners for my family, I would go up for two or three times after – I would then lie down to digest my food like a snake whilst wallowing in my own self-pity.”

Deliberate changes

Mack’s bad eating habits began to spiral out of control causing her to ‘gorge on carbs’.

She would eat around four takeaways per week and snack on crisps, chocolate and cheese toasties.

She became depressed with her size 24 frame and opted for a gastric sleeve which cost $6,000.

Mack said: “It was hard to adjust to a healthier lifestyle as bad food and drinks were all I knew.

“I had to make a lot of deliberate changes which require thought but now I feel physically and mentally better.

“My stomach is smaller than my four-year-old and I never indulge on greasy take-aways.

“It makes me angry knowing that I let myself get like that, but I will never get to that size again.”

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