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Kayla LaVende As A Child | Kayla LaVende, 2022 | Source: Instagram.com/wls_barbie
Kayla LaVende As A Child | Kayla LaVende, 2022 | Source: Instagram.com/wls_barbie

'Obese' Girl Sheds a Staggering 200LBS to Look like Barbie & Finally Fulfils Her Childhood Dream

Junie Sihlangu
Jul 26, 2023
03:00 A.M.

Kayla LaVende struggled with weight loss from childhood and was incentivized with Barbie dolls to motivate her to keep pushing to lose the pounds. It took her years to finally do something decisive and life-changing about her weight!

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Kayla LaVende, 37, grew up loving the Barbie doll due to her parents gifting her one weekly. At the time, her parents used the Mattel toy to motivate a young LaVende to lose weight.

Sadly, the motivation didn't work as, at one point, she weighed 342 pounds. She suffered from excessive weight until adulthood, when the inspiration her parents had been trying to give her through the Barbie dolls finally kicked in!

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The fan-favorite doll gave a motivational message that finally rang true to LaVende, and she managed to drop more than half her weight. In the following sections, we share her inspirational story.

How Barbie and a Flight Inspired Kayla to Lose Weight

As a young girl, LaVende was diagnosed with thyroid disease and chronic lipedema, illnesses that made it difficult for her to lose excess weight. Luckily, she was never bullied, but she always felt like people secretly judged her for being big.

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Her parents tried doing all they could to help her lose weight, but nothing worked. Doctors, nutritionists, and dieticians couldn't help her until the diagnosis was made, which revealed an abnormal fat buildup in her legs, hips, bottom, and arms.

LaVende tried eating healthy but struggled as she indulged in ice cream, bread, pasta, and pizza. She exercised, but all the fitness programs she tried failed. Barbie dolls were given to her to push her not to stop.

Her only hope was living vicariously through Barbie and her fashion, and her obsession with the toy motivated LaVende to be vibrant, joyful, creative, and colorful despite her size. However, she struggled to find suitable clothes in her size and started making them herself.

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In the past, she'd spend the day starving, then binge on pasta or fast food before going to bed. The content creator went through body pains and aches and knew she had to make a significant change in her life as she "craved freedom" and felt constrained by her weight.

When she took her first solo flight in ten years with Southwest Airlines from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to renew her Australian passport, little did she know that would be the beginning of her weight-loss journey.

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The size 26 content creator had to buy two seats to sit comfortably on the one-hour flight. Despite the planning, the Australian native still felt uneasy as she was allowed to board the plane first so she could sit in the last row, hoping to avoid judgment from fellow passengers.

The Barbie mega fan recalled feeling like she wanted to "hide" and become "invisible." As if she'd had a premonition, a petite woman in the third seat of the same row glanced at her rudely, and that incident became the motivation LaVende needed to change her life.

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What has inspired her the most is Barbie's motivational message of "You can be anything." LaVende took the message to heart, finally believing she could be anything she wished and set on her weight loss journey.

How Did Kayla Lose All the Weight?

In 2018, LaVende set her mind on losing weight once and for all, and nothing could stop her! The first step was changing her mindset to a determined one. She changed her habits to healthier ones and embraced weight training.

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She also did cardio, ate less than 30 grams of carbohydrates, ate 120 grams of protein, and had less than 20 grams of sugar daily. She also had gastric sleeve surgery, which helped change her lifestyle and kept her in line.

LaVende says she's grateful to Barbie for all that she's achieved.

Over 80% of her stomach was removed, and then she had a procedure to remove the excess arm and belly skin. LaVende also got breast implants to lift her chest, and her weight took a nosedive from 342 pounds to 140 pounds!

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Feeling confident in her body, she entered a body transformation competition and won! In 2023, she will continue working with a trainer who is assisting her to stick to her nutrition plan and gain more muscle.

Her commitment sees her doing seven days of cardio per week and weight training for six days. LaVende's days start with a protein shake before having raw unsalted almonds as a morning snack and then seasoned ground turkey breast or chicken for lunch.

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In the afternoon, she snacks on a protein bar or nuts, and dinner is usually the same thing she has for lunch. In the future, she'll get skin removal from her thighs to see the muscles she's built. Her significant weight loss had her saying:

"I'm so proud of the girl in the 'before' pictures because she is who has got me to where I am today."

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Another thing that came from her designing her own clothes was that she relocated to Las Vegas and started working as a costume designer. LaVende says she's grateful to Barbie for all that she's achieved.

The Matell fan bought herself a pink convertible which she called her Barbie car. She even landed a promotion at her work and wishes to upload more Barbie content and attend more related events.

Fan comments on Kayla LaVende's Instagram side-by-side photo of her and Margot Robbie wearing the same outfit as the star walks the carpet at the "Barbie" world premiere on July 10, 2023 | Source: Instagram/wls_barbie

Fan comments on Kayla LaVende's Instagram side-by-side photo of her and Margot Robbie wearing the same outfit as the star walks the carpet at the "Barbie" world premiere on July 10, 2023 | Source: Instagram/wls_barbie

LaVende says people often compare her to Barbie, stating how she resembles her, and it is "like a childhood dream come true." She exclaims in excitement that her Barbie style is finally recognized.

In 2022, she shared an Instagram video of her weight loss journey and noted, "I've been morbidly obese my whole life…until now." The clips showed what she looked like as a little girl and how she'd transformed now.

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On July 10, 2023, the costume designer uploaded an Instagram picture of Margot Robbie at the "Barbie" film's world premiere and a photo of her wearing the same outfit as the actress. Her post led to fans leaving supportive comments. One person wrote:

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"You should have been hired for the Barbie in the movie."

Someone else felt LaVende was supposed to be invited to the premier because she is "the ultimate Barbie fan," with the content creator noting how Robbie was "doing us Aussies proud."

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