She’s strutted the catwalk at New York Fashion Week and rubbed shoulders with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But one of Madeline Stuart’s biggest accomplishments has been getting fit.
The Australian model with Down syndrome recently revealed how she managed to get fit and lose more than 23 kilos. Madeline, now 21, first began struggling with her weight during the last year of high school.
‘It continued until she found it difficult to keep up with friends at dance and sport,’ Madeline’s mum Rosanne Stuart told Daily Mail Australia.
‘One day it all became too much, the puffing and feeling uncomfortable.’ Just a few weeks later, the Queensland native decided to make a change. As she first began her weight loss journey, Madeline ate smaller portions, cut out junk food, and began swimming for an hour every afternoon.
Now Madeline works out an hour a day, six days a week, with a personal trainer, where she mixes things up with both cardio and weights.
When she’s back in her hometown Madeline, who has competed in the Special Olympics, also plays basketball and cricket. She also dances three times a week with a dance ensemble she helped create at the InsideOutside Theatre Company in Brisbane.
And Madeline has swapped junk food for healthier meals like avocado and eggs for breakfast, grilled chicken and salad for lunch, and a lean protein with veggies for dinner – although she’ll still celebrate with some takeaway after Fashion Week.
Madeline’s achievement is all the more incredible as it can be even more challenging for those with Down syndrome to lose weight, due to factors like a lower metabolic rate.
And Madeline said her heart is now the ‘healthiest it has ever been’. ‘At my last check-up my doctor said it had not enlarged, as it is no longer working so hard to maintain the three holes and leaky Mitro valve,’ she said.
‘It looks like I may never have to go through open heart operation again if I maintain my health.’ Rosanne said Madeline keeps motivated to be fit so that she can continue to inspire others with disabilities to stay healthy.
‘She did not lose weight to become a model, but became a model when she lost weight as she felt empowered and confident to strut her stuff,’ Rosanne said.
Madeline has since been featured in the likes of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, and has walked at New York Fashion Week for the past five seasons. She is now preparing to walk the fashion circuit in Paris and London for the next six weeks and will head to Albania to work with the Albanian Down Syndrome Society.
This Article Was First Published On dailymail.co.uk