Real life weight loss: "I lost 200lbs and now I'm having my loose skin removed"

31-year-old Ceara Dowell shares her incredible weight loss transformation

Brand New Me
(Image credit: Future)

31-year-old Ceara Dowell from Minneapolis, USA was left with 15lbs of excess skin after losing an incredible 210lbs. At her heaviest, weighing in at 350lbs, Ceara was struggling with binge eating. 

YouTube channel Truly is conducting a documentary series on radical body transformations. Ceara told Truly: “I definitely ate my feelings, and I had a lot of feelings.” Being chronically sick and dealing with breathing problems and mobility issues, Ceara’s weight was having a massive impact on her life. And when her grandmother passed away unexpectedly several years ago, Ceara hit rock bottom. 

“We were incredibly close, she helped raise me and when she died I went into a full blown spiral, I was drunk for months.” When Ceara woke up from a panic attack in the middle of the night, she realised how her unhealthy lifestyle needed a drastic change: “I just knew I needed to change my whole life, or I was going to die.” 

The next day Ceara broke up with her then-husband, moved in with her aunt and uncle and stopped drinking. Subsequently joining a gym and starting a keto diet, Ceara soon started shedding the extra pounds. 

However, quickly losing an incredible amount of weight meant Ceara was left with an abundance of loose skin, especially around her abdomen: “My extreme weight loss left me with 15lbs of excess skin, I had skin everywhere, rolls and rolls of empty skin.” 

A few months ago, Ceara had surgery to address the loose skin on her stomach and breasts and couldn’t be happier about the result. Ceara said: “For the first time in my life, I’m actually happy, I feel good and I can do activities that I never thought were possible.”

Vitamin D foods: salmon and brown rice

(Image credit: Unsplash / Travis Yewell)

Ceara's use of the keto diet to lose weight meant following a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan. While carbohydrates are necessary to provide our body with energy during the day, the keto diet aims to lower our carbohydrate consumption so the body uses fat stores for fuel instead. 

It's a restrictive, sometimes unsustainable diet, but can be quite effective when it comes to losing weight. If you're lowering your carbohydrate consumption and upping your protein intake, you'll need a protein powder supplement which contains relatively little sugar and carbohydrates while still packing a lot of muscle-building protein. Our best protein powder for weight loss guide is a good place to start. 

Although Ceara now loves to lift weights, she began her fitness journey by walking to lose weight. Walking is a very simple form of exercise that's easy to incorporate into your day: all you need is some comfortable clothes and the best shoes for walking to get started. 

Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. 

Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.