- Publish Date
- Sunday, 18 March 2018, 4:32PM
A 23-year-old woman, who lost a staggering 50kg, has revealed she had gastric bypass surgery because she didn't want to disappoint her Instagram followers after she secretly put the weight back on.
Ariana Omipi became a social media sensation after sharing details of her dramatic seven-month weight loss after following a ketogenic diet - a high fat, low carb eating plan.
But the New Zealand woman admitted she struggled to keep the weight off, and felt she had to hide her body online because she was constantly hailed as a weight loss inspiration.
'It was so hard because people were still messaging me saying that I was such an inspiration to them. I felt like I was letting them down, and like I had to hide it,' she said.
The young woman said she believed her weight spiralled out of control after struggling with her food portions.
'My body was constantly telling me I needed food and I didn't know what to do about it,' she said.
'I would cook these beautiful healthy meals but then I'd need three, sometimes four servings of it just to feel satisfied and full.
'It was so hard because I felt like I was trying my hardest to do everything right, but it wasn't working and I couldn't figure out why.'
According to Stuff NZ, Ms Omipi said she was at her lowest weight in early 2017, but over the past year she gained 60 kilograms.
Ms Omipi had regularly shared before and after photos with her 5,000 Instagram fans and 25,000 Facebook followers.
But as her weight increased, she stopped documenting her journey because she said she felt she couldn't honestly motivate people anymore.
Last month, the Auckland-based Ms Omipi wrote a post explaining her situation 'openly and honestly' and that she was set to undergo gastric sleeve surgery in a bid to curb her weight issue.
'In March 2018, I will be undergoing bariatric (weight loss) surgery via gastric sleeve!' she wrote on the post.
'Over the years, my weight has been something I’ve worked really hard on.'
'My discipline, determination and lifestyle changes have helped me to achieve significant weight loss in the past however my constant hunger is something that has made maintaining a healthy weight incredibly difficult.
'Within the last five years, I have lost, maintained, gained, lost and gained weight.'
She said her struggle had been 'exhausting, physically and emotionally' and her decision to undergo gastric sleeve surgery was a one based on her 'long-term health.'
'For those of you who don’t know what this surgery is about, it will reduce the size of my stomach by approximately 90 per cent while also reducing the hunger hormone (ghrelin) by a significant amount,' she continued.
Ms Omipi also revealed her choice to undergo the operation was influenced in part by her friend, and fellow New Zealander Simone Anderson, who lost 92 kilograms after she underwent surgery in 2015.
And just three days ago, Ms Omipi underwent gastric sleeve surgery - and said her life has already improved as a result.
'I'm not going to have to have food on my mind constantly,' she said.
'I used to be at a point where I would be eating dinner but wondering what I was going to make for dessert, and breakfast the next day. It becomes quite obsessive.'