Cosplayer and young mother-of-three Casey Gemmell knew she had put on weight after giving birth, but she was unaware of how far it had gone until she saw one fateful picture. She wore a Batgirl outfit to her son’s superhero-themed first birthday party, and when she saw the photos, she was absolutely mortified.
“I knew that I’d gained a bit of a mommy tummy over the years, but in my head, it wasn’t that bad,” the native New Zealander who now lives in Perth, Australia confessed. “When I first saw the party photos, I didn’t think it was me,’ she says. ‘I looked nothing like Batgirl, it was more like ‘fat girl'”.
By the time she had the realization, she had gone up to size 28. It was a long way back, but Casey managed to lose over 150 pounds and does not have to feel embarrassed about putting on any costume nowadays.
“I’ve always liked food and had been brought up to eat everything that was put on my plate,” she says.
“But my kids would never eat all their dinner, so I’d eat their leftovers as well as my own meals, which were usually some sort of takeaway,” Casey said about the habits that made her gain so much weight.
The first ominous sign was when her 5XL Batman costume wouldn’t fit. She had to improvise her outfit, but the definite confirmation her weight went too far came with the party snaps.
“We’d eat whatever we wanted and I often ‘treated’ us to takeaways. This continued over the years when I went on to have Willow and Xavier. I knew I was gaining weight, but in my head, moms were meant to be cuddly,” the 38-year-old confessed.
Her love for superheroes also played a part in her turning a corner, as her weight made it difficult for her to identify with her favorite characters.
“I didn’t look anything like the slim, active heroines I adored,” she admits.
“I didn’t let anyone know how I was feeling… but inside I felt jealous of all the women in the skimpy superhero outfits. I’d wish it could be me.”
One big change she decided to make was to stop ‘sneaking’ food.
“I’d pretend to throw away the kids scraps in front of my husband, but I always ate them,” Casey admits.
The New Zealander stopped eating junk food completely and switched to healthy foods only.
She also downloaded a running app, which at first she was skeptical about, but came to appreciate it when she noticed the first changes in how she looked and felt.
“At first, I had no faith in the app or myself,” she confesses. “The first run I went on, I didn’t even last 30 seconds without getting out of puff. But slowly, I improved, and that was enough to keep me motivated.”
As she reached her first weight goals, the Perthite would set another one in order to continue pushing herself.
“As I became slimmer, it became a goal of mine to fit into the costume I’d been busting out of. I dedicated myself to my target and ran every day, eating only salads and lean meats for dinner. Junk food was dead to me,” Casey explains.
When she finally tried to put on the Batgirl costume which started her on her journey, the costume was much too big, so Casey had to use a belt to stop it from falling off. She has been posing for pin-up shoots and wearing more cosplay outfits ever since.
Casey continues to document her amazing transformation to her Facebook page called ‘Beautiful U’ in order to inspire other people to do the same. Although she has made enormous progress, her work continues with the same dedication as on the first day.