Woman ate her way to 350lbs to numb the pain after her boyfriend died

Grieving woman who ate her way to 350lbs to ‘numb the pain’ after her boyfriend died reveals how she lost HALF her body weight in just 18 months

  • Jaclyn Silva, 31, weighed 25st 13lbs at her heaviest and wore UK size 32 
  • She suffered with low self-esteem and poor body image during her teens
  • She revealed her weight gain accelerated after the death of her boyfriend
  • Jaclyn shared how she was able to shrink by more than half her body weight 

A funeral director who binge-ate her way to 350lbs (25st) to ‘numb the pain’ after the death of her long-term boyfriend has lost more than half her body weight. 

Jaclyn Silva, 31, from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, suffered a breakdown when Allan Williams died in 2010 after being diagnosed with a rare lung disease, and she turned to food to cope with her grief – but her unhealthy eating habits saw her pile on the pounds.

Four years later, Jaclyn decided to take control of her lifestyle – and lost 130lbs (9st 4lbs) with yo-yo dieting that then saw her boomerang to 322lbs (23st) before she finally reached her healthy target of 165lbs (11st 11lbs).

Jaclyn now eats between 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day, works out at the gym two days a week and takes part in a hot yoga and a kickboxing class each week. She says she achieved her new svelte size 10 (UK12) figure in just 18 months.

Speaking about the loss of Allan, she said: ‘My heart was ripped apart and I didn’t care about what I looked like. To numb the pain, I ate, drank and smoked my way to nearly 350lbs (26st).

Jaclyn Silva, 31, (pictured now) from Canada revealed how she was able to reduce her body size by more than half in 18 months

Jaclyn now eats between 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day, works out at the gym two days a week and takes part in a hot yoga and a kickboxing class each week. Pictured left before her weight loss and, right, after

Jaclyn’s boyfriend Allan Williams (pictured together) passed away in 2010 after struggling with breathing difficulties caused by a rare lung disease

‘I just pushed it all away because it was too painful to even begin to deal with. It’s ironic because I’m a funeral director and I’m trained in grief- but I couldn’t do the work for myself.

‘I spoke very negatively to myself for as long as I can remember. I would beat myself up over everything. I felt worthless and undeserving.

‘I wouldn’t do anything that I enjoyed, other than eat. I basically put my life on hold and just tried to get through each day. Feeling miserable.

‘In 2014, one day I hit a wall and started having panic attacks – literally one after another. I essentially had a breakdown. My doctor concluded that I was experiencing delayed grief and suggested I go on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication, but I couldn’t do it.

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‘I had put so many unhealthy things into my body – and this experience was so scary and life changing that I wanted to get healthy naturally.’

Jaclyn revealed her attempts to get healthy naturally began with a yo-yo phase after a series of dietary restrictions gave temporary results.

She said: ‘I consulted a naturopath who specialised in anxiety. She suggested I change my diet – remove inflammatory foods like; gluten, dairy and eggs to help balance my hormones and get my body back on track. 

‘I also started seeing a psychiatrist to sort out my emotions and begin healing my relationship with food, people around me and myself.

Jaclyn (pictured before) ignored the advice of doctors to take antidepressants to cope with her grief in favour of naturally overhauling her health

Jaclyn (pictured before left and after losing weight right) cut out inflammatory foods including gluten, dairy and eggs to achieve a dramatic transformation

Jaclyn struggled to maintain the restrictions she placed on her diet and regained almost all the weight she lost before deciding to be less restrictive. Pictured before losing weight

‘Within ten months I lost 9st 4lbs and was feeling amazing. But unfortunately, within two years I gained it all back. 

‘Although I had adopted a new healthy lifestyle, it wasn’t sustainable. I was too rigid in my eating and work out routines and eventually let the negative thoughts and unhealthy habits creep back in.

‘Last January 2017, I stood on the scale and realised that I was back at 23st, not my heaviest, but still devastating. Instead of beating myself up, I decided to start again – but this time be less restrictive.’ 

‘This time – my focus was on healing and feeling good. I wanted to eat foods that supported my body and gave me energy. I still stay away from gluten, dairy, eggs and rice, but I eat everything else.’

Jaclyn (pictured before her weight loss) now allows alcohol, desserts and fried foods in her diet but tries to have small portions 

Jaclyn (pictured before left and after right) claims the negative feelings and thoughts she had followed her through every weight

Jaclyn (pictured after) says the hardest part of her weight loss was dealing with her emotions

What Jaclyn now eats in a day… 

Breakfast: 1/2 cup gluten free dry quick oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp peanut butter, ground cinnamon on top, 2 links chicken sausage

After gym snack: protein shake with 1 scoop vega sport, 3/4 frozen mixed berries, 1 tsp fish oil 

Lunch: 1.25 cups lentil pasta, homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms, peppers and 1/2 italian sausage

Snack: 4 pieces of chocolate bark with almonds 

Dinner: 1 cup of roasted sweet potato and chickpea soup with 1 tsp of truffle oil on top (i always put truffle oil on vegetable soup��), gluten free cranberry biscotti and a salad with oil and vinegar

Calories: 2145 

Jaclyn revealed she has built a support network and helped to inspire others by tracking her transformation on Instagram. She claims the hardest part of her weight loss journey was dealing with her emotions.

‘The hardest part about losing weight was dealing with the emotional and mental side of the journey. The conversation you have with yourself won’t change as you lose weight unless you make an effort to change it,’ she said.

‘The same negative feelings and thoughts that you have now stay with you throughout the journey. The first time I lost weight, I was still unhappy because deep down I didn’t feel better about myself.

‘I thought losing weight would make me happy but it didn’t. That was really hard to accept because this was something I wanted my whole life and finally I was there and it felt no different really. That’s why the second time, I put my energy into healing.

‘I’ve learnt how to eat a balanced and flexible diet. I still drink alcohol and eat dessert and fried foods, but I always try to modify to make food a bit healthier. If that’s not an option, then I just eat a smaller portion of it. This keeps me from binging or feeling deprived.

Jaclyn (pictured before) revealed she has made an active effort to not connect her emotions with food 

Jaclyn (pictured after) believes weight loss is the side effect of a healthy lifestyle

Jaclyn now inspires others to lose weight and offers advice using Instagram 

‘I also make an effort to stop myself from attaching emotion to food – there is no good or bad food. Everything is fine – just some foods make you feel better than others. So, when I’m making food choices, I make the choice based on how it will effect me and if it will get me to where I want to be.

‘This is one of the ways that I’ve tried to heal my relationship with food and my eating disorder. I also eat foods I enjoy and look forward to eating.’

Jaclyn advises others to make small changes to ensure their lifestyle overhaul is manageable and realistic.

‘Start small. Don’t do anything too drastic that you won’t be able to stick to. It has to be manageable and realistic. Also, take the pressure off yourself and be good to yourself. Show yourself compassion and remember you’re always doing your best so give yourself a break. This isn’t easy,’ she added.

‘I truly believe that weight loss is the side effect of a healthy lifestyle. If you are supporting your mind body and soul – you will make choices that are in your best interest like food choice and sleep quality.

‘Also, to lose weight you need to stick to something and let time pass. While that time is passing, it needs to be enjoyable or else it will feel like an eternity. This is an opportunity to really get to know yourself and what you like and enjoy and essentially want out of life.

‘Time will pass regardless of if you’re living a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle, so if you make small changes and support your body with love – that time will be a lot more enjoyable.’

For more information see www.instagram.com/jac.sil

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