A mom denied permanent residency new Zealand The officer who was allowed to stay because of being overweight was allowed to stay as she unveiled her plans to start a new career inspired by what she was doing lose weight travel.
Mondelea Bezuidenhout, from Palmerston North, New Zealand, has made headlines around the world after her application for permanent residency was rejected because her “too high” BMI made her health too risky.
The South African native said she was ordered by officials to lose 30kg or face being kicked out of the adopted country she has called home for the past four years.
Ms Bezuidenhout, 36, appealed the decision and was granted a special exemption after dropping her BMI by 10 points a year ago and receiving a referral from a GP certifying she was in good health.
She continues to document her weight loss journey on social media, hoping to inspire others with the support of her husband Donovan and children Donna Lee, 11, and Damian, 4.
Mondelea Bezuidenhout (pictured) was told she could stay in New Zealand after she was initially deemed overweight by officials
She unveiled plans to become a plus-size model, inspired by South African fashion label Donna Claire.
“I’ve always wanted to be a plus-size model, like the ladies at Donna Claire – I even named my daughter Donna-Lee,” she told South Africa’s you Thursday Magazine.
Once at 128kg, the busy mum now trains five days a week, including one session a week with a personal trainer.
Reflecting on the worldwide attention her story has garnered, Ms Bezuidenhout described it as a strange experience.
She insists she’s always been comfortable in her own skin, and says she’s not “bossed with dieters who make me feel like a criminal.”
Busy mum-of-two works out at least five times a week to stay in shape, including weekly workouts with a personal trainer
“It’s very weird to have complete strangers discussing your body,” she told the publication.
“I’ve always been greater than everyone else, and I’ve accepted myself.”
Ms. Bezuidenhout also treats post-concussion syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that disrupts menstruation in women.
Mondelea Bezuidenhout (pictured) hopes to become a plus-size model as her weight loss journey continues
She admits that losing weight will always be part of her journey, and admits that there have been many struggles along the way.
“One of the hardest things to deal with is acknowledging that I sometimes need a break. Don’t wait for burnout to happen. Take note of your own needs and set clear boundaries,” she said in a recent Facebook post.
She revealed in another post: “I’m not perfect and sometimes I complain about my body but this body has had enough and I will continue to heal and love myself.”
Months after she was granted immunity, Ms Bezuidenhout spoke of the “hurtful” rejection and the enormous toll the snub took on her and her family’s lives.
“I feel overwhelmed, not just because of the decision, but because I feel like I’m really being heard and understood, and finally…someone in the government has seen my side of the story, seen my efforts, and not even Met me,” she told Stuff in February.
“It was a really tough process and it took a toll on us. It hurts what happened.
“Our hearts are still healing, but we’re celebrating the win and looking forward to a bright future.”
Mondelea Bezuidenhout (photo in April) dropped 10 points in BMI after reaching 128kg