US Woman who relied on Food after Molestation loses 54kg

A woman who turned to food for “emotional comfort” after being molested at age nine embarked on an inspiring weight loss journey.

US Woman who relied on Food after Molestation loses 54kg f

"I started to believe in myself through him."

An American woman who turned to food after being molested as a child has lost a staggering 120 pounds and has even won a bodybuilding contest.

Over three years, Sandeepa Rathnayaka’s weight loss journey helped her heal a lifelong struggle with depression.

The engineering manager from Ohio previously weighed 253 pounds (115 kg).

She now weighs 133 pounds (60 kg) and has stayed committed to personal trainer Paul Rennalls’ fitness and eating plan.

Sandeepa explained how her traumatic experience of being molested at age nine led to using food to “cope” with the pain.

US Woman who relied on Food after Molestation loses 54kg

She said: “I had been relying on food as an emotional comfort, like a coping mechanism throughout childhood and teenage years.”

However, she felt defenceless because the perpetrator was never sentenced.

Sandeepa added: “That was one of the biggest things with my childhood trauma. I felt unprotected.”

She battled depression and weight gain but also developed allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, which made her existing asthma worse.

In 2020, the woman met Paul Rennalls who provided her with a holistic routine that covered nutrition, fitness, meditation and even breathing exercises.

Paul’s goal was to transform Sandeepa “from the inside out” by helping her understand her “triggers” and coming up with a strategy for how to deal with her anxiety.

Paul said: “She didn’t realise how her emotional triggers were allowing her to go back to the habits that she had.”

Sandeepa used to feel uncomfortable while exercising at the gym due to worries that others were watching her.

After Paul addressed it, Sandeepa realised it came from her unresolved trauma.

Sandeepa said: “I didn’t believe in myself. So, I started to believe in myself through him.”

Paul also emphasised the importance of sleeping and regulating her stress during their sessions, adding:

“I really wanted to show her the value of investing into training and what it could do.”

Speaking about her weight loss transformation, Sandeepa said:

“You can have an absolutely phenomenal transformation naturally.

“You just need the right guidance. Working with a qualified coach can guide you to do it with a holistic approach to health and wellness.”

US Woman who relied on Food after Molestation loses 54kg 2

During their training sessions, the pair’s friendship developed into something more as Sandeepa admitted:

“I consider him my soulmate, like I truly found love.”

According to Sandeepa, discipline is more important than motivation when it comes to weight loss.


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A post shared by Sandeepa | ??120Lbs+ Natural Weight Loss (@_ceylonese)

Following her fitness transformation, Sandeepa began competing in bodybuilding contests.

In October 2023, she won the Women’s Transformation title during the Summer Shredding competition in Houston, Texas.

Sandeep now uses her platform to provide her weight loss and fitness tips to her followers.

Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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