Gwilym Pugh: Lost 93 Lbs.
At 280 lbs., Gwilym Pugh was overweight, out of shape and living a sendentary life.
After a “5 to 7 year” weight loss journey, which included a lot of “trial and error,” Pugh, 33, lost 93 lbs. and found a new career.
Now, a top model and an ambassador for David Beckham’s grooming brand House 99, Pugh, tells PEOPLE he focuses on a diet of micronutrients and good fats, and managable exercise.
“Due to injuries, I’ve struggled with high-intensity work, but I’ve found low-intensity cardio pre-breakfast has been great,” says Pugh, who now sees an osteopath and a trainer, and aims for 20,000 steps per day.
As for life as an in-demand model and social media influencer: “This life is something I had never even thought to dream of,” says the London-based Pugh. “Every aspect of my life has improved, from physical and mental health to personal and professional relationships.”
Kathleen Golding: Lost 178 Lbs.
Growing up, Kathleen Golding had always been overweight. By 21, she had turned to food as a “coping mechanism” while wrestling with anxiety and depression.
“I was stuck in a constant cycle of daily binging,” the New Bern, North Carolina resident, whose highest weight was 331 lbs., tells PEOPLE. “I was eating fast food for every meal and enormous quantities each time.”
She finally decided to make a change and turned to gastric bypass surgery, which she underwent in June 2016.
“For some reason, weight loss surgery is seen as ‘cheating’ or being weak, but for me, I found strength in being able to say ‘I can’t do this on my own. I want to be healthy, but I need help,'” says Golding, now 26.
After the surgery, the weight began to “melt off,” says Golding, who eventually dropped 178 lbs. by making healthy dietary changes and exercising.
Now, Golding says she is finally at peace with her body. “I have some loose skin and it definitely has its imperfections, but I worked hard for this body,” says Golding, who also documented her weight loss journey on Instagram. “I spent so much time hating it but I’ve realized that this is the only body I’ve got and I’m going to take care of it.”