THIS time final yr, Alex Athienitou was a dimension 22 and weighed 17st.
The 33-year-old mum of two solely wore saggy black garments and didn’t have the arrogance to comply with tendencies how she wished to.
Regardless of dropping to a dimension eight after gastric sleeve surgical procedure late in 2020, she nonetheless couldn’t discover her fashion mojo.
Enter Fabulous Trend Director Tracey Lea Sayer.
Alex, an Government PA at a building agency, is the primary lady to participate in our new Problem The Stylist sequence, which sees Tracey use her experience to help readers.
Alex, who lives with husband Michael, 33, a surveyor, and their sons Byron, 5, and Eden, one, in Leytonstone, East London, stated: “Despite the fact that I was much more assured and happier in myself after the burden loss, I nonetheless had a problem with discovering what was proper for me fashion-wise.
“I didn’t understand how to dress myself. I had been a sure dimension for many of my life, then to instantly change is an enormous factor to cope with.
“I was 100 per cent misplaced. I had this new body and I didn’t know what to do with it.
“I didn’t have the arrogance to strive a crop high. That was not an choice for me. I nonetheless preferred to stick to saggy garments as a result of that’s what I was used to.”
Alex, who had been weight-reduction plan for 13 years, added: “Meals was emotional for me.
“I would eat all the pieces from McDonald’s to KFC, or Greggs. I would have takeaways perhaps three to 4 instances per week.
“I ate when I was unhappy, I ate when I was offended, I ate when I was wired.
I would strive all of the diets: Atkins, Weight Watchers, juice diets, cleanses.
My drawback was willpower.
Then in summer season final yr, I was so scorching and uncomfortable. I couldn’t dwell like that any extra.
“I had fairly dangerous post-natal despair. You turn into somebody’s mum or somebody’s spouse and never your self.”
Through the gastric sleeve operation, medical doctors eliminated 85 per cent of Alex’s abdomen, that means she might eat solely tiny parts.
She additionally began an train regime referred to as The Six-Pack Revolution and stated: “I started feeling a way of happiness and readability like by no means earlier than.
“The load dropping off me felt superb.” But Alex was nonetheless haunted by self-doubt when it got here to trend.
“I had a black T-shirt that I would continuously dress up or dress down,” she stated.
“I would wear it for my birthday or on the varsity run. It was simply my go-to. I have all the time had stacks of trend magazines but I would by no means have been in a position to relate what I noticed to my dimension.
“When you’re large, you’re restricted as to the place to store. I discovered it exhausting to get out of that mindset. But I knew I didn’t need to restrict myself any extra.
“I bear in mind my mum used to purchase garments on the finish of the season within the sale after which it could be vacuum-packed and put into the loft for the subsequent yr.
I misplaced 7st but didn’t understand how to dress my new body
“I might by no means do this as a result of I had no idea what dimension I was going to be subsequent week, not to mention subsequent yr.
“What I actually wished Tracey to assist me do is discover a capsule wardrobe — one thing I knew suited me completely that I might wear yr after yr, figuring out I would keep the identical dimension.”
After her makeover, Alex stated: “For the reason that shoot I have learnt to not be afraid of sporting color.
“It has additionally opened my eyes to manufacturers like Nasty Woman and Warehouse, which I by no means would have dreamed of heading to.
“Most retailers cease at a dimension 18, so you find yourself having no idea what’s on the market any extra. I additionally went out and acquired a crop high for the primary time in a long time.
“The makeover was emotional. My husband was blown away that his spouse was there in entrance of studio lights getting made up.
“I wished to give you the chance to show off my body once more and this has positively helped me. Although I nonetheless have rolls, I’d like to suppose something would look good now.”
- Head to @fabulousmag on Insta to watch Alex’s makeover video
- Work: Jumper, £49, Warehouse, Trousers, £69, Warehouse, Sneakers, £159, Karen Millen, Bag, £60, Dune London
- Lunch: Jumpsuit, £39.99, Reserved, Sneakers, £28, Fairly Little Factor, Bag, £36, River Island
- Social gathering: Pink dress, £59, Nasty Gal, Sneakers, £28, Fairly Little Factor, Bag, £26, Subsequent