A single mum who went from a size 12 to 22 stone while pregnant from “midnight McDonalds feasts” has lost nine stone thanks to a £5,000 gastric band.
Mollie Coleman, 26, experienced severe morning sickness and despite not being able to keep anything down during the day, she says she ate enough to feed a small army at night, Manchester Evening News reported.
However, the healthcare assistant has a newfound confidence and enjoys posing in bikinis after spending £6,500 on weight loss surgery, a full body lift and liposuction, which has seen her drop down six dress sizes from a size 24 to a 12.
Mollie said: “It was getting to the point where I was going to McDonald’s in the middle of the night.
“I was always quite slim until I had my daughter. I wore a size 10-12 and weighed 12 stone. I gained a lot of weight being pregnant. My healthy eating habits just went out of the window.”
To make matters worse, Mollie also suffered from polyhydramnios or too much amniotic fluid.
While it can cause problems for the baby, her daughter was fine, but it increased her anxiety and she thinks exacerbated her strange eating habits.
“You think once the baby’s born all the excess weight will go, too,” she said. “Lola-J was 8lb 10oz, so I thought straight away, ‘That’s 8lbs gone’. It just doesn’t happen like that, though.
“But I didn’t exactly help myself when I was pregnant. I wasn’t doing any exercise. I drive, so I wasn’t walking anywhere. I was literally eating everything and doing nothing.”
Now 13st 1lb, the 5ft 9in single mum, whose body mass index (BMI) was 45.4 at her heaviest – compared to the NHS healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9 – is dying for Covid-19 rules to change so she can go abroad and show her new body off.
“I’ve bought loads of bikinis and taken loads of pictures. I want to go away and show my body off.
“When I booked in for my surgery, I wasn’t even nervous. I just knew nothing else would help.
“If I have one piece of advice for anyone thinking of having the surgery it would be to just go for it. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
After Lola-J was born, Mollie says she struggled to feel comfortable, covering up in baggy black clothes and with her size 24 jeans digging in.
“I used to work nights and would snack and drink cans of Red Bull to keep me awake,” she said.
“I’d grab quick convenience foods like pizzas and burgers before heading back to work.
“Over the years I tried diets, such as calorie counting and meal replacement shakes and even diet pills, but nothing seemed to work.
“If I lost any weight, I’d only end up putting it all back on and more. I just got bigger and bigger.”
Mollie says it was in the early summer of 2019 when she was getting ready at a friend’s house and, persuaded onto the scales, realised to her horror that she was just 1lb away from 22st.
It was at this point she decided to make a change.
“I stood on my friend’s scales and actually cried when I realised how heavy I was. I just went home and cried my eyes out.”
Knowing she needed serious help, Mollie began looking into weight loss surgery.
She said: “I needed help. I had no willpower. I was dieting, but I was still eating rubbish.
“I knew weight loss surgery was the answer, as some of my mum’s friends had had stuff done and I’d seen them lose quite a lot.
“I just thought, ‘I need to go for it, enough is enough’.”
Mollie booked her first gastric band surgery which went ahead on September 13, 2019, with the Transform Hospital Group, in Birmingham.
Paying for it using a personal loan, she said: “It took under 45 minutes. I went in one morning and I went home the next day.”
Insisting the operation did not hurt, she also says any pain was worth it for the result.
“The only thing was that you are blown up with gas – so you have trapped wind in your shoulders and there’s no way of getting rid of it,” she said.
“It was uncomfortable more than painful and my incisions never hurt – I think I’m a tough cookie.”
A gastric band was installed around Mollie’s stomach, limiting the amount she could eat and was tightened by fluid, which was injected into it to increase its size and limit her consumption.
After two or three ‘band fills’ her weight started dropping off.
“I had my surgery in September 2019, and I’ve just lost weight ever since,” Mollie explained.
“The first thing I couldn’t eat was bread and I’ve never been able to since, which has really helped.”
Following four months without any junk food, Mollie noticed a real difference.
Then, when lockdown hit in March 2020, her weight loss sped up, thanks to her long daily walks.
“There was nothing to do, so I was going walking all the time and most of my weight came off then,” she said.
“That was when I really lost a lot of it – it was incredible to see.”
By the end of 2020, Mollie weighed a svelte 14st 4lb and was delighted to fit back into her old size 12 clothes.
But despite her achievements, she doesn’t want to stop there.
“I was so big that I knew when I lost the weight my skin was going to sag,” Mollie said. “I knew that I would have to have more surgery to get back to how I was before having my daughter.
“Losing weight was a step in the right direction, though, and I got there in the end.”
Opting to go overseas for her second lot of surgery, as she wanted to be at a clinic that specialised in obesity, Mollie flew to Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2021, for a 10-hour operation.
On May 4, she had a full 360 body lift, or tummy tuck, as well as procedures on her breasts and buttocks and all-over liposuction – costing £6,500 in total.
This wasn’t including her flights, Covid tests and other expenses, which she had saved up to pay for.
Again, she insists her recovery “was not painful”.
“My stomach was quite obviously loose and saggy,” she said. “I had my stomach done and the 360 lift where they lift your bum. I’ve had my boobs done. I’ve had liposuction all over – all in one surgery.
“I’m hopefully at the end of it now. I don’t know if I’d go for any more, but never say never.
“I never had any pain. I just knew it was part of the process and I got on with it.”
Following her final transformation, which left her weighing 13st 1lb, Mollie now feels more confident than ever.
“I have so much more energy and can now go into a shop and pick up whatever I like.
“When you lose weight, you gain confidence and you start wearing different clothes – I’m like a totally new person.”
Mollie is still happy to eat out in restaurants and says the impact of her new diet isn’t really an issue.
“I can only eat a saucer-sized amount, so I always try and get a smaller plate, or just order a starter,” she explained.
“I do waste a lot of food, as the amount I can finish is ridiculously small. In fact, people must wonder why I’ve ordered it!”
Mollie’s focus now is on making the most of the summer, while enjoying all the benefits of her new body.
“I’m really happy, I’m miles more confident and I’ve got a completely different body now,” she said.
“I’ve bought loads of bikinis and I’ve got a holiday booked to Spain, and a backup trip to St Ive’s in Cornwall, in case Covid means I can’t go.
“Hopefully, I’ll get to Dubai by the end of the year too – that’s where my dad lives.
“I need to go on holiday with my new body!”
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