Steph: Oh, I was running outof room in size 24 trousers, until it clicked one day. I was worried I was going to die early. I used to be 21 stone and now I’m simply 10 stone. So I’ve over lost half my body weight. But when I lost the weight and skin started to appear, I just became withdrawn stopped going out. Aleisha: She had to wear long sleeves to hide the skin. Steph: Had my surgery back in June. Actually I haven’t been out too much because I’ve been recovering. I’ve spent my whole life trying to disguise me; I don’t want to hide away anymore life is for living. Aleisha: Oh wow. That is amazing. Steph: I’ve always been big. My mom was actually having to get my school uniform specially made for me because, nowhere stocked clothes to fit a child, that young at such a big size. I was running out of room in size 24 trousers, and I would see other people in the street like what they was wearing, I’d think, oh, if I was slimmer, that’s what I’d wear. You’ve always had to wear a lot of things that your grandma would wear. I was struggling to get up the stairs. I was worried I was going to die early. Then it clicked one day. New Year’s day we tried to have a photo in the doorway there. Aaron: Yeah.
Steph: As a couple and I couldn’t fit in the doorway, I had to turn side on. And my friend uploaded that picture on to Facebook and that was when it hit me. In the beginning, my intention was to stay at 10 stone in the scales, and I thought that was a big ask for myself. I didn’t actually think I was going to fulfil that. Within time I could do more I was building my strength up at the gym and I was just shrinking. And it just kept coming and coming. I never in a million years thought I’d get to where I am now. I used to weigh 21 stones and now I’m simply 10 stones. so I’ve lost over half my body weight. I’ve gone from walking to the fridge and back to going into the gym three times a week for an hour. I threw out the deep fat fryer. Lean cooked meat, fruit vegetables, I packet read. I’m aware of what’s in foods. So now it’s not diet it’s a lifestyle change. So I’ve got some old clothes here, clothes I used to wear which were size 24. So if I hold this up you can see how big I actually was. And these were actually half elasticated for a bit of extra room. And these will get in tight and you could fit two of me in them. And then it’s just absolutely full of clothes that no longer fit. So you can see how many black bags are here. I’m not ready to sort them out. I’ve always had a bad relationship with clothes and I thought that me losing weight would enable me to be out there, enjoy clothes, but when I lost the weight and the skin started to appear, I just became withdrawn. Stopped going out because I couldn’t wear sleeveless like this. Because a few occasions people have come out with cruel comments. So I always covered up. I mean, it’s been quite difficult for me to get to the stage of having skin removal surgery. I’ve had to set up a GoFundMe fundraise. Had my surgeries back in June. I went to Lithuania simply because of costing. As soon as I woke up I was really intrigued to see how much skin they’d actually taken off. This is a new belly button, my old one was taken off with my skin. Obviously you can see it, it’s visible. But it’s a lot better than I was expecting. Obviously I haven’t been out too much because I’ve been recovering, and wearing garments wearing baggy loose things anyway. But I haven’t got many clothes that fit.
Aleisha: Hello. This is one of very few so hopefully I can always go get a nice pair of jeans. Aleisha: What types you think you’re looking for? Steph: Anything not black it’s wow
Aleisha: That’s nice. What do you think of that one? That’d look lovely on your figure. Steph: Don’t know looks a bit small. Aleisha: You still think you’re big and you’re really not. Steph: Just a problem my head just hasn’t adjusted to this one. No,that is too in your face. Aleisha: She, she was so nervous before then quiet and she’s starting to come out of her shell again now. And then she used to always wear body suits, so she had to wear long sleeves to hold the skin. So it’d be nice to see her wear something, so she doesn’t have to hide herself because the transformation, I mean you can see yourself. It’s amazing. Aleisha: Well try it on and so it, just try it might go a bit high. Steph: And we haven’t actually seen each other for a while had we? Aleisha: No.
Steph: We kind of like lost touch because I stopped going out and stop going to the play groups where we used to take the children. You know, I didn’t want to open up to people. I mean, I can’t say I wasn’t depressed because I was. And I know that if I didn’t go through the surgery, well, I had no choice but to do it. I couldn’t, you know, I was just
Aleisha: You needed … doing everything to change my ways and to stop hiding away, to be out there and start living and I just felt worse. It just felt like I was being punished for the bad habits and all the thingsI have done to my body over the years. It was affecting our relationship with us, we wasn’t having sex, or no,I wasn’t letting him see me get undressed. We wasn’t talking and he didn’t know what to say to me and it kind of strained everything. I used to sit at home crying but like now it’s I have been born again. it’s silly but …
Aleisha: No but you have. Steph: I’ve got a new life, this is like a new life. Aleisha: Like a new you definitely.
Steph: Definitely. Aleisha: The confidence and the self esteem it’s just amazing. you smile you’ve got the smile back. Steph: I’ve spent my whole life trying to disguise me; and I don’t want to
hide away anymore. Aleisha: Oh wow. That is amazing. Steph: Is this really me? Aleisha: You look amazing.
Steph: Would you? Aleisha: I would definitely.
Steph: I know. life is for living, so I want to be out there enjoying life.