Sunderland Echo

People Super slimmer mum loses 8st

- Sophie Brownson @SBrownsonJ­PI

A 20 st mum who turned down a gastric bypass managed to shed eight stone by overhaulin­g her lifestyle – here she tells us how.

As Michelle Fenton sat in front of her GP in August 2017, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

Suffering from chest and arm pain, along with a permanent sore throat, the mum-of-five went to see her doctor for help, believing there was something wrong with her heart.

Instead, tests revealed that it was actually severe indigestio­n and at nearly 21st in weight, Michelle was asked to consider undergoing a gastric bypass.

The offer of weight loss surgery was not something that had ever crossed Michelle’s

mind, but it was the wake-up call she needed to realise how out of control her weight had become.

"As a teen, I would shop in the adult section and throughout my 20s, I was a size 16-18,” she said.

“After my youngest child was born in 2014, I steadily put weight on, gaining an extra 4st.

"I told myself that clothes sizes were ridiculous, the shops measuremen­ts were off, the material was different to last time, I’d shrunk something in the wash – anything but the truth.

“But then the GP told me that, at nearly 21 stone and a size 22-24, my weight was the issue and advised me to consider a gastric bypass.

"I was horrified and burst into tears. I knew I wasn’t skinny by any means but I didn’t realise I’d gone that far.”

In January 2018, Michelle refused to be put forward for surgery and instead went to join the Easington Lane Slimming World group, weighing 19st 12lb.

Although initially ‘terrified’ at the idea of joining the group, Michelle, who lives on Easington Lane, quickly adapted to the plan, shedding 9.5lb in her first week.

And as time went by, the weight dropped off, with Michelle losing more than 2st in just eight weeks.

The 40-year-old said: "I was ecstatic. I hadn’t been hungry at all and I hadn’t felt liked I’d missed out on anything.

“My body confidence grew and I went shopping for new clothes. I didn’t pick out black shapeless things to hide myself away; instead I started wearing more fitting clothes, skirts and colours.

"With my new-found confidence and shape, I decided to join a local exercise group and every week I could feel myself getting stronger and fitter.

"I felt better than I had in years, my anxiety had all but vanished and so had my indigestio­n with all its symptoms.”

By May 2019, just 16 months after joining, Michelle had lost a total of 8st to reach her target weight of 11st 12lb and a size 10-12.

In 2020, Michelle discovered she was pregnant, giving birth to daughter Verity Fenton on December 14.

But instead of going back to her old ways, Michelle kept up her Slimming World plan throughout her pregnancy.

"It could have been an excuse to go back to old habits – but I have come too far for that,” she said.

"Turning down the surgery and joining Slimming World is the best decision I’ve ever made. When I reached target, it was like winning the lottery, maybe even better."

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 ??  ?? Michelle Fenton was a size 22-24 before her weight loss but is now size 10-12 after shedding 8st.
Michelle Fenton was a size 22-24 before her weight loss but is now size 10-12 after shedding 8st.

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