A super slimmer has shed nearly half her body weight – after she had her gastric band removed..
Gemma Marmalade, 37, signed up to Slimming World on December 28 last year because she knew something needed to change in her life.
After years of unsuccessful dieting the university lecturer weighed a dangerously unhealthy 25 stone.
It was causing her blood pressure to skyrocket and she knew it was only a matter of time before her health seriously deteriorated.
She had previously had a gastric band fitted in 2008 on the NHS after her GP referred her.
But she didn’t find it effective and after putting on three stone in the 12 months following the procedure she had it removed in early 2010.
Feeling that something had to change but not knowing where to turned to the slimming group.
Once signed up she quickly realised it wasn’t the quantity of food she was eating but the unhealthy choices she made that caused her obesity.
As she swapped her nightly takeaways and two litres of full-fat coke a day for home-cooked meals she shredded stone after stone until she stood at her current weight of just under 15 stone.
Gemma, a mother-of-two, is now aiming to lose another seven pounds before she reaches her ideal weight.
After radically changing the way she sees food Gemma has blasted surgery as a “Draconian” way of tackling obesity.
Gemma, of Huntingdon, Cambs, said: “I had the operation in 2008 and I actually ended up putting on weight.
“Initially I lost a stone but then I found ways round it. I ended up eating every 10 minutes because I’d just wait for my stomach to clear and then eat some more.
“I ended up putting three stone back on plus the weight I lost by the time I had it removed in 2010.
“The problem with stomach stapling is it doesn’t solve people’s long term weight issues.
“It doesn’t change your relationship with food. If anyone says they are thinking about having weight loss surgery I would please don’t, you may as well have your jaw wired.
“It is very modern form of surgery but in actual fact it is very Draconian in the sense that it stops you being able to eat.
“Being able to eat and eat the right foods is the secret to weight loss. It’s not about starving yourself.”
After signing up to Slimming World Gemma embraced its healthy eating plan and started to enjoy life like never before.
She revealed that she is now able to cross her legs and fit in her bath, something she hasn’t done in years.
Gemma now enjoys a much more active lifestyle and runs 5km every and goes to Zumba classes three times a week.
She recently went on a run with her friend Lauren Dickinson who weighs the exact amount that Gemma has lost in the past year. The pair celebrated by taking a photo with Lauren on her shoulders.
Revealing the difference in her life since her dramatic weight loss she said: “One of the biggest difference I’ve noticed is that people actually talk to me now.
“There is such a stigma with obesity. There is the idea that you are stupid because you’re overweight.
“I am a university lecturer and I am doing a PhD so I am pretty confident I am not completely thick.
“But people treat you completely differently when you’re overweight. They discount what you say, they do not listen to you. They confuse it with a sort of weakness.
“I think I have more prospects in my employment as a slim person than as an obese person.
“I have had more promotions in the last six months than I have had in the last six years because I’ve lost lots of weight.”
Gemma was always overweight growing up and confessed she ate “whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted it” from the ages of 18 to 36.
She says she was never unhappy about her weight and saw herself as a non-conformist who didn’t want to feel pressurised to be ashamed of her body.
She said: “I was really happy being overweight. I saw myself as an ambassador for overweight people.
“I didn’t want people to tell me how I should look and how I should be. I am very positive and think that all bodies are good bodies. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are.
“I have had plenty of times in my life where people have looked at me and judged my weight before they have even spoken to me.
“But as I got towards 40 I started to realise that this is affecting my health. I was lucky that I never develop diabetes because plenty of overweight people do.
“My GP told me that I could live another 14 years because of my weight loss.
“That means I can spend all that time with my kids and they don’t have to live all that time without their parents.
“I want people to know that losing weight doesn’t mean you have you change yourself. You can still be the same person.”
Gemma is now a consultant for a group in Huntingdon and is encouraging anyone interested to contact her.
For more visit fb.me/gmcswgemm