DailyMail.co.uk: From Food Addicts to Fighting Fit: Obese Twins Who Weighed a Combined 900lbs Both Lose Almost Half Their Body Weight in Just a Year
Originally published on DailyMail.co.uk.
A pair of twins who weighed a combined 900 pounds have slashed their weight by almost half in just one year.
David and Rebecca Nielsen, 23, from North Prairie, Wisconsin, developed food addictions early on in life following their parents’ divorce and over the years they encouraged each other’s bad habits.
But in a bid to kick their unhealthy lifestyles and slim down they landed a spot on ABC’s makeover show, Extreme Weight Loss. On last night’s premiere of Season 3, the siblings unveiled their dramatic new looks.
While his sister, who went from 398 to 192 pounds, said: ‘At the beginning of this journey we were so depressed and hopeless . . . We kept wishing for miracle. This is nothing short of that.’
The duo said that being obese had a negative impact on their lives. David explained that all he’d known was being ‘fat’ and at college he turned to alcohol and painkillers to numb the pain.
At one point his substance abuse led him to consider taking his own life.
Recalling the chain of events, he said: ‘I was in my apartment one night and I just started drinking and taking more pills. I got to the point where I was laying there and I didn’t have control of myself.
‘I was just taking these pills and I was just drinking so much. I remember just telling myself that this was it.’
But David said that a phone call from his father pulled him back from the brink.
‘That night my dad called and told me he loved me. I quit the next day, completely cold turkey. I stopped drinking, I stopped doing the pills.
‘For the first time I finally felt like there was something more for me than that. Being that fat and being that depressed.‘
He managed to lose 200 pounds but when he returned home and started living with sister again, he reverted back to his old ways.
Desperate to slim down he and his sister filled out an application for the third season of Extreme Weight Loss. On their 23rd birthday they received a surprise visit from the show’s fitness expert, Chris Powell.
He told them that they had made the cut and he would be helping them through a one-year weight-loss program.
Seeing that the twins were in an ‘extremely codependent relationship’ Chris split them up for the first 90 days.
David was sent home to spend time with his father, Daniel, while Rebecca was packed off to Arizona to work alongside Chris’s wife, Heidi. In that period, after cutting back their diets and taking up daily exercise, they lost a combined 204 pounds.
‘I can already tell my stamina is going up. I can workout so much harder than I used to be able to,’ David exclaimed.
Commenting on her brother’s new outlook, Rebecca said: ‘Dave looks so skinny, you can see that he’s coming into himself. When he was at his heaviest he had lost faith in himself.’
By the end of the year the siblings managed to lose a combined 419 pounds. They say that they now plan on returning to college and completing their studies.
Rebecca wrote on her Facebook: ‘Wow. What a year it has been. We can definitely say that this was the craziest, most exciting, liberating, and emotional year of our lives.
‘No matter how much our bodies transform on the outside, nothing can show the changes that our head and our hearts have made. A true transformation for the both of us.’