Obese mother Nathalia Teixeira, drops 112lbs and competes as a bodybuilder
Nathalia Teixeira, an obese mother-of-two who ate 5,000 calories of chocolate a day has become a bodybuilder after fat-shaming herself by posting a video of her ‘massive’ belly online and inviting people to comment. Nathalia Teixeira, 29, who is from Brazil but lives in New York City, said the unusual technique helped her go from 266lbs (19st) and a dress size 14 (UK 18) to 154lbs (11st) and a size four (UK 8).
Nathalia, a PhD student, said she ate an ‘insane amount of junk food,’ including fast food meals with chips for the first few years of her marriage, ballooning to her heaviest in May 2012. She said the turning point came one night when she couldn’t fall asleep because she felt so ‘heavy and disgusting’. She then found herself a personal trainer to kick her into action with an intensive routine, and began competing in bodybuilding competitions. Now Nathalia Teixeira, who is studying psychology at Plaza College, New York, has just 12 per cent body fat.
‘For most of my childhood I was underweight as I was very active, always out camping and doing sports.
‘I got married at 18 after meeting my husband Gilson, now 33, at church the year before.
‘Gilson, who owns his own heating, ventilation and air conditioning company, is a very “indoors” person. He likes spending time inside with his family.
‘At the time I had just started working as an accountant, sitting down the whole day. All I was doing was eating and sitting. I would eat and eat and eat.
I was a chocoholic. I was addicted. I ate an insane amount of junk food and it was careless
‘My body didn’t respond well to that, and I started noticing the damage I was doing. Within a year, I was obese.’
She continued: ‘I wouldn’t say my family was the healthiest, but they didn’t eat like I did.
‘Our meals would be okay. The problem was the junk food I ate outside of that.
‘I was a chocoholic. I was addicted. I ate an insane amount of junk food and it was careless.
‘I’d eat about 5,000 calories a day of just junk food, and most of that was chocolate.
‘I have a lot of stretch marks now but it doesn’t bother me because they are part of my story.’
Nathalia Teixeira, mother of Bryan, nine, and Olivia, six, reached her heaviest in May 2012.
She was not happy with her figure, health, or job – but was fed up of complaining all the time.
The young mum said she knew her husband would love her no matter what her weight, but she knew it was hard for him to see her so unhappy.
The trigger to change her lifestyle came one night when Nathalia’s weight made her too uncomfortable to sleep.
‘I lay down in bed one day when I was 25 and I felt my fat falling down my sides. I was uncomfortable and couldn’t sleep because I felt too heavy and disgusting,’ she said.
‘That was when I decided to change. At the same time, I changed my body and I changed my career, giving up my job as an accountant to go back to school.
‘It’s not just about diet and exercise. It’s about mindset, which is easier said than done.’
The biggest battle was giving up her guilty pleasure.
She said: ‘I gave up chocolate in May 2013 – I’d occasionally have some but I was careful not to fall into the same cycle again.
‘The chocolate doesn’t control me now. It’s all about mindset.’
Nathalia Teixeira bravely posted a video of her big belly online, alongside a pledge to change.
She said: ‘I put up a video on YouTube showing my belly. I did it to feel embarrassed and to show the whole world I was serious about my decision to change.’
The first 100lbs (7st) she lost was by restricting her diet, with approval from a doctor, but her calorie intake was so low she couldn’t do any exercise.
She stopped the diet because she wanted to do Zumba and go to the gym. Then, the challenge stepped up a gear.
She said: ‘First it was about losing weight, having more energy and feeling good in my skin – but then I became hungry for more.
‘I thought, ‘I could take this a step further.’
‘After I lost 100lbs (7st) I thought I could tone my body and become an athlete.
‘I found someone through a friend’s recommendation, who was crazy enough to believe in me and train me.
‘My coach Edson Prado, who has won Mr Universe twice, has transformed my body in a way I never thought possible.
‘I threw up in the first five minutes of our first session, and he thought I was never going to come back, but I went back to him the next day.’
Mrs Teixeira admits she cried during every workout, but Mr Prado never gave up on her and continued to push her.
The mum-of-two trained for nine months for a 20km (13 mile) Spartan race in September 2013 – and when that was completed, she needed a new goal.
Mr Prado got her ready for the NPC body building competition, an international physique contest.
‘I felt like I could do anything,’ she said.
‘I trained for a year and a half, seven days a week, doing two hours a day of weights with my coach, and I would do 40 minutes of cardio on top of that a day.
‘I won sixth place when I finally competed in November 2014 in New York. Then in April the following year, I came third.
‘It has been life-changing for me. I achieved what I wanted, not in a dream but in reality. I feel so accomplished and now I’m focusing on my studies.
‘My son says, “Mum, I remember when you were fat and you weren’t happy”.
‘Both the kids and my husband are proud of me.’