An obese mum who was fat-shamed in Bali has dropped half her body weight so she no longer feels ‘too fat to travel’.
Belinda Brodie she was ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ after both locals and tourists alike ‘made fun’ of her 130kg, size 26 frame – with store vendors in Bali claiming she was ‘too fat’ for any of their clothes while laughing behind her back.
“Traveling when you’re 130kg is not easy and I hated every minute of it,” the 31-year-old said. “I was so anxious getting on planes because it’s such a small space for a big person.
“When I visited Thailand and Bali I could feel both locals and other tourists gawking at me and some would even laugh at me behind my back. It was heartbreaking.
“This happened a lot, and it totally gutted me. I love the Balinese people and I don’t think they meant to be so mean about it. It’s just a cultural thing, they’re very direct and have no filter.
“Similar things happened in Thailand, too. Other tourists would move out of the way to let me pass with a big smirk on their face. It’s so humid and I’d be sweating all the time.
“While I still mostly enjoyed myself, I feel like my size just ruined things for me and spoilt my holidays.”
But New Zealand native Belinda, who now lives in Perth, Australia, decided enough was enough and lost an incredible 56kg so she could travel the world stress-free.
The mum-of-one has since had the time of her life flaunting her brand new 74kg svelte size 12 body all over the world – including luxury holidays around Australia, New Zealand, France, Norway and Spain.
She even went back to Bali during her weight loss journey in 2014 with her husband Travis, 30, and son Oliver, six, and was elated when the locals recognised and even congratulated her on slimming down.
“After losing the weight, I’ve never had any issues travelling and have had some incredible experiences,” she said.
“I’ve travelled everywhere now, and have been snowboarding, hiking, horse riding and bow and arrow shooting. I never could have done any of that before as I was so unfit.”
Belinda said her weight would constantly fluctuate due to yo-yo dieting – but began to pile on the pounds more than ever after the birth of her son in 2011.
She suffered from post-natal depression and anxiety, and would often find herself ‘comfort eating’ whole batches of homemade baked cookies, brownies and muffins.
And with her husband Travis working away in the mines, the mum said she would isolate herself indoors and never wanted to leave the house.
But after struggling to keep up with her son, Oliver, then two, at a local Perth zoo, Belinda said she realised she needed to change her lifestyle for good.
“I wasn’t happy with myself. All of a sudden, you’re in the mum role and it’s so easy to stop taking care of yourself because you just give everything to your baby,” she said.
“I was so happy to have this gorgeous little boy in my life, but I felt like I was losing myself a little bit. The post-natal depression just creeped up on me.
“I think a lot of new parents can relate to this. I’m just lucky I got myself out of that spiral before things got too bad.
“I finally decided to make a real change to my health after I visited the zoo with my son. I couldn’t keep up with him.
“The next day I threw out all the bad things from my cupboard and started again. I began jogging each morning, and eventually joined a gym and went to fitness classes.”
In September 2013, Belinda totally overhauled her carb-heavy diet of bread, pastries and pasta with a clean-eating regime that focuses on healthy proteins and fresh fruit and vegetables.
She also began exercising daily by going for jogs every morning and working out at the gym with the help of a personal trainer and fitness classes.
“I managed to lose 30kg in the first year. I felt incredible, and the weight just kept coming off,” she said.
“It was all just clean eating, exercise and determination. That’s it.
“It was the best decision I ever mad. I have so much energy, and I’m so motivated.
Now Belinda is fitter than she ever has been, relying on Brazilian jiu-jitsu and powerlifting six times a week to keep her toned.
“I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I will never look back,” Belinda said.
“I can’t to do some more traveling. I’d love to go to the U.S and South America, as well as exploring more of Europe.
“The whole world has opened up to me now. I’m so excited.”
With additional reporting by Caters News.
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