A woman has shed a whopping 105lbs in less than a year and met the love of her life after being told she would need her knees replaced at age 40 because her weight was causing them to buckle.
Elizabeth Hittinger, a 28-year-old medical assistant from Allentown, Pennsylvania, had been overweight her entire life. Weighing 259lbs and wearing a size 18, she was stuck in a spiral of depression because she was unhappy about how she looked.
‘I tried so much to lose weight the usual ways. I dieted and went to the gym constantly,’ she said. ‘I had no confidence about how I looked or my weight and in 2019, I had a lot of wake up calls with my health.’
Then and wow! Elizabeth Hittinger, 28, from Allentown, Pennsylvania, has gone from 259lbs (left) to 154lbs (right) after having weight loss surgery in November 2019
Old life: The mother-of-one, pictured with her nine-year-old daughter Madalynne, struggled with weigh-related health issues before she lost 105lbs
Elizabeth was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that affects how the ovaries work. She also suffered from knee pain, which was directly linked to her weight.
‘My orthopedic doctor told me that I would probably need a knee replacement in my 40s if I did not get my weight into check,’ she said. ‘My depression was out of control because I was just not happy with how I looked.
‘Having so many health issues, I knew it was time to change.’
It wasn’t just her physical and mental health that took a hit as a result of her weight. Elizabeth’s weight was also starting to impact on the things she could do with her nine-year-old daughter, Madalynne.
While on a trip to a theme park, she couldn’t fit into one of the ride’s seats.
Hard to handle: Elizabeth was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries, and had knee pain that was linked to her weight
Nightmare: Elizabeth was told she would need her knees replaced in her 40s because her weight was causing them to buckle
Had enough: ‘Having so many health issues, I knew it was time to change,’ she said
‘This made me feel embarrassed and ashamed I let myself get that large,’ she recalled. ‘I got off and then walked around the park letting my daughter go on the rides she could.’
This was the final straw for Elizabeth, and in July 2019 she made the brave decision to see a weight specialist to explore the possibility of weight loss surgery.
‘Planning for surgery came with a lot of hurdles, including three months of nutrition visits, doctor appointments, and I had to meet with a therapist to make sure I was ready, but I powered through all of them,’ she said.
After months of preparation and medical and psychological assessments, Elizabeth underwent gastric sleeve surgery on November 1, 2019.
Making changes: Elizabeth underwent gastric sleeve surgery on November 1, 2019
Incredible: The mom lost 50lbs in the first two months. Eleven months post-op, she weighs 154lbs and wears a size 6
Finding love: The single mom also met the love of her life, Peter, 29, on Bumble three months after her surgery
‘The recovery wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I was sore but it was more adjusting to not eating that was the most difficult,’ she said. ‘I quickly lost weight. I lost 50lbs in the first two months.’
Eleven months post-op, Elizabeth is at her healthiest — and the number on the scale has never been lower. She now weighs 154lbs and wears a size 6.
‘My knee pains are gone. I can go to the gym and run and actually enjoy it,’ she said. ‘I can wear a bathing suit and feel sexy and confident in it. I now have the energy to keep up with my nine-year-old daughter’s activities and am healthier to be around longer for her.’
The confidence Elizabeth has gained thanks to her transformation enabled her to re-enter the dating scene after a year and a half. Just three months after undergoing surgery, she met the love of her life, Peter, 29, on Bumble and they’ve been together ever since.
All smiles: The happy couple has been together ever since they started dating
New life: Elizabeth is now able to take part in activities that she was never able to do before because of her weight
Happy: Elizabeth said she no longer has health issues, and she has never felt more confident
‘It is absolutely amazing to love myself and be able to feel loved by him,’ she said. ‘I finally had the confidence to put myself out there again. I was so excited. Peter was my first date after I had surgery and I was so ready for it.
‘I no longer have any health issues. I love myself, but the biggest benefit is having my daughter have a happy and healthy mom,’ she added.
Before her incredible weight loss, Elizabeth rarely exercised and would seek comfort in junk food like pasta whenever she was down. She’d average 2,500 calories a day.
Now, she has an egg for breakfast, and a small portion of lean meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner, with cheese as a snack, totaling around 700 calories. She also exercises twice a week.
‘People are shocked with how much weight I’ve lost. They always say they can’t believe how good I look,’ Elizabeth said.
‘Look into all of your options when it comes to weight loss,’ she advised. ‘Meet with a weight management doctor and do the option best for you.’