A plus-size woman is forging a new career as a model after losing a staggering 155 pounds thanks to life-changing surgery.
Rochelle Monique Murrell, 35, from Washington DC, went under the knife to have her stomach reduced to the size of a banana.
After an injury to her knee Rochelle’s weight sky rocketed to 338lbs (27st 2Ibs).
Rochelle went from a US size 26 to a US size 14.
But she is now beyond thrilled to be working as a plus size model and says she now feels ‘liberated.’
In March 2016, Rochelle decided to make a dramatic change in her lifestyle in her quest to be the next successful plus size model.
Rochelle opted for a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG.) The process involves removing a large portion of the stomach and reducing it to the size of a banana.
VSG can reduce the stomach’s volume by up to 75 percent.
Rochelle also had to make changes to her diet and has cut out carbohydrates and began exercising three to five times a week.
In less than a year she saw her weight drop to 216lbs (15st 9Ibs).
Rochelle’s self-esteem suffered when she was at her heaviest and she admits she felt ‘ashamed’ of the way she looked.
‘I was a people-person, but suffered from low self-esteem due to my weight. I believe my lack of confidence paired with my knee injury led to my heaviest weight,’ Rochelle said.
‘I couldn’t work out because of the injury, so I just let myself go. I wasn’t happy with myself; where I was in life and how things were going.’
‘I felt like a monster; I was so ashamed that I had let myself get that big.’
‘I wanted to live. I wanted to be a successful plus size model and live my dream. I’ve always been in love with fashion and I just started to take pictures.’
‘I would reach out to different companies and photographers. I would also walk into fashion shows for church and other organisations.’
Rochelle says being a plus size model is ‘liberating’ and makes her feel ‘powerful and sexy’.
‘I had VSG and I also eat a low carb diet while working out three to five times a week. I’m no longer a prisoner in my body. I have a whole new confidence in myself. I’m full of energy and ready to take on the world,’ she said.
‘Modelling is liberating. It makes me feel powerful and sexy. I am a work in progress, but I absolutely love the skin I’m in. I’m very proud of myself.’