Selfie of shame… Now I’m a new woman
I thought weight-loss surgery was the answer. Was I wrong..? Amanda Nauffts, 36
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