A single strong-willed frum girl is openly speaking about her journey with one of the obstacles for finding a shidduch that is rarely discussed in the open: Her weight.
Merav Yitzchaki, 25, and a resident of the Israeli city of Netanya has decided to share her personal story with Hebrew news site of Yediot Achronot.
As part of her attempts to find a proper match, Yitzchaki had undergone a series of operations, lost 205 pounds and redefined the concept of a diet.
“I was always a fat girl,” she admitted. “My parents tried to encourage me, saying that being fat is not an offense, and I preferred to just ignore my weight and eat.”
And Merav did eat, until at the age of 21, when frum girls are getting married or at least dating, she reached the weight of 342 pounds, Akiva Novick reported.
“I was warned that I should be thin when I enter the ‘shidduch’ world, so that I could be matched to a good-looking guy,” she recalls. “But I had already accepted the fact that I would probably be matched to a fat guy and that’s it.”
But Yitzchaki didn’t really accept the situation, and at some point found herself on the operating table at the Assuta hospital in Tel Aviv, where a ring was adjusted on her stomach to reduce her appetite, according to the report in Yediot.
“I started taking things seriously and eating in a healthy way, and with the help of diets the weight just kept falling off until my dietician stopped me,” she says.
She underwent treatments to remove excess skin by by Dr. Tali Friedman, a surgeon from the Assia Medical Center in Tel Aviv, who pointed out that “the problem of obesity is extremely relevant to the charedi-religious sector these days.”
“I have been exposed to many patients from the sector who have undergone weight loss treatments and body shaping. Merav is a very impressive and highly motivated young woman, who has done very well,” says Dr. Friedman.
Yitzchaki is now looking forward to date – which she have not done before. “Even when I had already lost weight, I wasn’t offered any matches because people didn’t know about it. But I know that Hashem will send me what I deserve.”
In the meantime she’s happy (“I thank Hashem 10 times a day”) and recently began working as – believe it or not – a pastry cook. That’s what it’s about, watching but no touching,” she laughs.