Scottsdale, AZ (KPHO) — A woman whose weight-loss story has gone viral now finds her journey bringing her here to the Valley for a life-changing skin-removal surgery.
Simone Pretscherer is a 24-year-old from New Zealand who started posting her weight-loss journey online last August.
“I went from 372 pounds to 181 pounds,” she says.
She says she remembers the exact date, August 29, when she decided that enough was enough.
“I knew if I put my weight and measurements online for the world to see, and a photo of me half-naked, there was no going back,” she says.
But Pretscherer soon found herself becoming a victim of “fat-shaming.” Online bullies alleged that her extreme weight loss was a sham.
“When I did a before and after photo of losing half my body weight, I had hundreds, thousands of messages that I was a fake and a liar that there was no way that was the same girl, and that really hurt,” she says.
But that didn’t stop her mission to share her story. Pretscherer’s saga quickly went viral. To date, she has 90,000 Facebook followers and 63,000 Instagram followers. And the numbers keep climbing.
“I just get hundreds of messages each day telling me that I have made them start their own journey, which is incredible,” says Pretscherer.
Now, Pretscherer has traveled all the way from her home in New Zealand to Scottsdale, Arizona to see surgeon Dr. Remus Repta, so he can put the finishing touches on her hard work.
“200 pounds in about a year,” says Repta. “The skin will never bounce back to its original state. No matter how much dieting or exercise, that skin will not go away. This is going to be a 70-year investment for her.”
Tuesday morning, Pretscherer went under the knife. In an 8-hour span, Dr. Repta did a breast lift, an augmentation, a bra line back lift and a tummy tuck.
Simone says she lost the weight by exercising and dieting. She also had a gastric sleeve.
“I am currently training for a half marathon,” she says. “I joined a basketball team and a water polo team. And I wouldn’t have been able to do all that with all the skin I was carrying.”
And if you are thinking of losing weight and creating a “new you,” Pretscherer says do it, and don’t think twice.