Selfie of shame… Now I’m a new woman

I thought weight-loss surgery was the an­swer. Was I wrong..? Amanda Nauffts, 36

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Check­ing my re­flec­tion in the chang­ing-room mir­ror, I dropped my head into my hands and sobbed. ‘I’ll never be able to wear some­thing like this,’ I snif­fled, yank­ing at the clingy prom dress.

‘It’s al­right, love,’ my mum, Kay, 49, soothed. ‘We’ll find some­thing.’

But at 13st, there wasn’t any­thing that didn’t make my bulging rolls of tummy fat look even worse.

Peel­ing the dress off, I sloped out of the store.

‘I know what’ll cheer you,’ said Mum. ‘How about lunch?’

Im­me­di­ately, my mood lifted.

Mum al­ways knew how to make me feel bet­ter.

Wedg­ing our­selves into the near­est booth, we or­dered our favourite – two large pep­per­oni piz­zas – and gob­bled down slice af­ter scrummy slice, chilli oil drip­ping down our wrists as we ate the lot. De­li­cious!

All my life it had been the same story. Early on, I’d learnt to rely on food for emo­tional com­fort.

By the time I started col­lege in 2000, I weighed al­most 14st.

Far too big for my petite 5ft 4in frame.

And once I started work­ing as a den­tal hy­gien­ist in my 20s, the weight only con­tin­ued to pile on.

There wasn’t a lot I liked about my body, but my belly won the crown of ‘most hated’.

It hung down like an apron over my thighs, I thought it looked dis­gust­ing.

Though I was mis­er­able, I couldn’t help my­self when it came to food, turn­ing to it for com­fort.

By 29, I’d crept to 19st 2lb. Couldn’t even bear to look in the mir­ror any more.

But then I met my hus­band Mario, who loved me for me.

In Au­gust 2011, our son Ser­gio was born, fol­lowed closely by twins Noah and Sophia in Septem­ber 2012.

But preg­nancy only ramped up my ap­petite – and af­ter­wards, I’d easily bro­ken the 21st mark.

My gut was so vast now I couldn’t even get close enough to the chang­ing table to do my kids’ nap­pies.

But the sad­der I got, the more I gorged.

Then, one day in Septem­ber 2016, as I strug­gled to tie my shoelaces, I glanced up to see Sophia, 4, watch­ing pity­ingly.

Tears stung my eyes.

Is this what my daugh­ter has to look up to?

Next day, I booked an ap­point­ment with the GP, who re­ferred me for a gas­tric by­pass.

Dras­tic, sure. But dras­tic was what I needed.

On 30 Jan­uary 2017, I was taken for surgery.

Over the next month, my whole body shrunk as I lived on a strict, new diet of clear liq­uids and veg­gies. I lost 3st in a month. My prayers an­swered? No. Although I was get­ting smaller, un­der­neath my clothes, a mon­ster lurked...

Over the next month, my whole body shrunk

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