A woman who shed 100lbs with the help of a gastric bypass is now working as a model.
Taylor Ragano, 30, used to be 220lbs but has now lost weight and gone down from a US size 20 to a size four, weighing 127lbs.
The transformation gave Taylor, from Arlington, Virginia, the confidence to study for a master’s degree and become a model.
In high school, Taylor didn’t think she was smart enough to get into college.
‘I was in special education classes through high school,’ said Taylor. ‘I have ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder.
‘I almost dropped out my senior year. From graduation, until I was 23 I was just unmotivated and at 21 I gained about 100lbs.’
After dieting back and forth, Taylor decided to go for gastric bypass surgery to shrink her stomach.
Since the procedure, she now sticks to 1,000 calories, which is normal after a gastric bypass.
‘Before the surgery, I weighed 220lbs. Now I’m 127lbs,’ said Taylor.
‘I eat 800-1,000 calories a day. I eat very little and I’m full. I don’t snack often.
‘A meal might be like half of a six-inch Italian sub or half a kid-sized plate at a restaurant.
‘I also try to eat as much protein as possible because people who have had gastric bypass surgery need a lot of protein.’
Following her weight loss, Taylor was able to get motivated and take control of her life.
She added: ‘All the weight was off by 2015 and just losing the weight gave me the confidence I needed.
‘I started taking my community college classes more seriously and applied to a four-year university.
‘I then applied for grad school and I’m currently getting my master’s in public administration from Virginia Tech.
‘I’ve also had a few internships on Capitol Hill and have been freelance modeling a few times a month.’
Taylor is now signed to an agency and has been modelling for two years.
Since she’s lost the weight and turned her life around, Taylor’s love life has also changed.
‘Guys were really not nice to me when I was overweight,’ she added.
‘The man I’m dating is amazing and is the love of my life. He’s super supportive and he’s going to be a lawyer.
‘My exes who weren’t nice to me all wanted to get back together when I lost the weight, but I didn’t give them the time of day.’
As for the future, Taylor has big plans for herself.
‘I didn’t think I’d even have a degree, but my goal in life is to work on The Hill, maybe even as a congresswoman, and help pass legislation that helps people with disabilities.
‘I’d also eventually love to go to law school, but I’m just trying to get my master’s first.
‘It would also be awesome to be the first fashion model who lost a lot of weight or has had gastric bypass surgery.’
Taylor also shares her weight loss journey on Instagram at @Taytay_transformation.
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