A Barbie-obsessed woman who went from a size 26 to a size six has fulfilled her ‘childhood dream’ of looking like the iconic doll.
Kayla LaVende, 37, thinks her love of Mattel toys came from her parents giving her one every week as motivation to lose weight at a young age.
She grew up inspired by Barbie’s ‘you can be anything’ message.
As a girl she was diagnosed with thyroid disease and chronic lipedema, which made losing weight extremely difficult.
Kayla LaVende, 37, went from 342 pounds to 140 pounds. Pictured left before her transformation and pictured after her lifestyle change
He does cardio seven times a week and now does weight training six times per week. Pictured in his old pants after his health journey
Kayla went from a size 26 (left) to a size six (right) and her Barbie-like ‘childhood dream’ came true
To encourage their child not to give up, Kayla’s parents give her a Barbie doll every week as motivation.
Her dramatic weight-loss journey began two years ago as an adult when she was taking a flight and wanted to ‘disappear’ because she had bought two seats.
The Australian native, who lives in Las Vegas, went from 342 pounds to 140 pounds, and now people say she looks like Barbie, which she says is a ‘childhood dream come true.’
Kayla was overweight since childhood. Although he was never beaten he always secretly felt judged by others.
Her parents tried their best to help her lose weight, but everything they tried didn’t work.
She talked to doctors, dieticians and nutritionists to find out why she was so overweight at such a young age.
‘I was eventually diagnosed with thyroid disease and chronic lipedema (an abnormal accumulation of fat in the legs, buttocks, bottom and sometimes arms),’ she explained.
Despite the risks, Kayla has managed to stick to a healthy diet despite her health issues. Carbohydrate-loaded treats like pasta, bread, pizza and ice cream were her go-tos.
Exercise routines never seem to stick and any attempt at a long-term fitness program fails.
Kayla’s parents help encourage their child by not giving her a Barbie doll every week.
Kayla was inspired by Barbie’s powerful message ‘You can be anything.’ He embraced the idea that he too could be anything he wanted.
Kayla’s weight loss journey began two years ago when the self-proclaimed Barbie mega fan took a one-hour flight.
Weighing 342 pounds, Kayla knew she needed to ensure two seats for her comfort and that of her fellow passengers, and she wanted to feel ‘invisible’.
Kayla has always been obsessed with Barbie and her fashion and lived vicariously through her as a young girl.
‘Barbie inspired me to be creative, joyful, vibrant and colorful in any form,’ she recalls.
Kayla struggled to find clothes in her size so she opted to make her own.
Little did Kayla know that her first solo flight in a decade would result in a complete body overhaul that would shrink her from a size 26 to a size six.
Kyla’s weight loss journey began two years ago when the self-proclaimed Barbie mega fan took a one-hour Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to renew her Australian passport.
Weighing 342 pounds, Kayla knew she needed to ensure two seats for her comfort and that of her fellow passengers.
The extra seat may have set the content creator back financially, but the emotional relief of avoiding the embarrassment of bumping into someone else’s seat was worth every penny.
When she got on the plane, Kayla couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable. He chose the last row to avoid judgmental stares from fellow passengers.
Kayla spent extra money to get a second seat on the plane. From previous experience, he did not want to make other passengers sitting in the same row uncomfortable.
Southwest Airlines staff allowed Kayla to board first and prioritize her seat. He took the last row to avoid being stared at. He thinks he wanted to ‘hide himself’ and become ‘invisible’.
Seated in the third seat in the same row was a petite woman who looked at him rudely, and that experience inspired him to change his life.
Kayla has always been obsessed with Barbie and her fashion and lived through it as a young girl.
Kayla struggled to find clothes in her size so she opted to make her own
As an adult, Kayla – who used to wear size 26 to 28 clothes – found herself starving all day before eating unhealthy meals before bed.
During the day, Kayla does not eat during her long hours of work. He used to come home hungry and craved to eat. Kayla often ate fast food or pasta.
Kayla was feeling aches and pains in her body. She knew it was time for a huge change in her life as she ‘craved freedom and felt completely restricted by her size.’
She continued: ‘For me, losing weight started with a strong mindset. Once I committed to losing weight in 2018, nothing could stop me.
‘I first got into healthy habits, weight training, cardio workouts and a diet consisting of 120 grams of protein, less than 30 grams of carbs and less than 20 grams of sugar per day.’
She enlisted the help of gastric sleeve surgery to aid her weight loss and fitness journey, which she said ‘changed her lifestyle and kept her on track.’
During the procedure, surgeons removed 80 percent of her stomach. She then went on to remove skin from her arms, stomach and breast lift with implants.
She enlisted the help of a gastric sleeve surgery to aid her weight loss and fitness journey. Kayla is pictured before (left) and after (right) her transformation
The result? Kayla’s weight dropped to 140 pounds. Then she entered her first body transformation contest and she won.
Kayla is working with a trainer who is helping her gain more muscle and stick to her nutrition plan.
Her current routine includes ‘cardio seven days a week and weight training six days a week’ and she is committed to staying ‘structured’.
He wants to continue working on building muscle for his next fitness goals.
Kayla’s focus became nutrition as she began eating for fuel rather than pleasure. She’s got a ‘new passion for fitness’ and enjoys working out every day.
He starts his day with a protein shake. For lunch or dinner he goes for chicken or turkey to keep things ‘deliciously consistent’ and he credits his discipline with ‘changing his mindset’.
In the future, he wants to remove the skin from his thighs as he believes ‘they’re very strong and muscular under all that skin’ and is keen to ‘see what’s under there’.
The result? Kayla’s weight dropped to 140 pounds. Then she entered her first body transformation contest and she won
Kayla, who has amassed over 84,000 TikTok followers and nearly 29,000 Instagram fans, is even preparing to flex her newly empowered muscles in a bodybuilding competition.
Kayla no longer holds her size. She navigates anywhere with confidence, indulges in fun activities and shops to her heart’s content.
Her life has taken an extraordinary turn as she works in the weight loss industry, guiding and inspiring others on their own extraordinary journeys.
Kayla wins her first fitness competition, buys a pink convertible she calls her Barbie car, and she even gets a promotion at her job. She wants to publish more Barbie content and attend more events.
Kayla feels she is ‘finally enjoying her life without any physical limitations.’ She now ‘loves her life’ and ‘checked off a few of her goals.’
Her transformation led her to be compared to her childhood idol, the fabled Barbie.
‘People say I resemble him; It’s like a childhood dream come true. My Barbie style is finally recognized!’ she gushed.
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