Size 30 mum who was so fat her bulk was crushing her lungs drops 13 STONE after having an £11,000 gastric bypass on the NHS. Gillian Hinsley, 32, from Heywood, Manchester, weighed a staggering 25 stone at her heaviest
By Sarah Barns of “The Sun” 27th June 2017, 12:14 pm
A MUM-of-three whose morbidly obese body was crushing her lungs has lost 13st after undergoing an £11,000 gastric bypass on the NHS.
Gillian Hinsley, 32, from Heywood, Manchester, weighed 25st and was even nicknamed ‘Big G’ for resembling the overweight grandma from hit comedy, Big Momma’s House.
Now Gillian, a pharmacy dispenser, weighs a healthy 12st 2lbs and has dropped nine dress sizes thanks to the operation.
“It took me a long time to realise that I had a problem with my weight,” she said.
“But having the gastric bypass was the best decision I ever made. No one calls me Big G anymore!”
As a child, Gillian snacked on chips and sweets, and, at the age of 11, was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid.
Gillian, who has dropped from a dress size 30 to a size 12, said: “My doctor told me that my condition was linked to weight gain and a slow metabolism.
“So when I started putting on more weight, I blamed my growing waistline on my thyroid.”
By the time she met her husband Colin, now 32, also a pharmacy dispenser, at the age of 18, Gillian was a size 14.
The couple went on to have three children, Lewis, 13, Connor, 11, and Jessica, 10.
And with each pregnancy, Gillian continued to pile on the pounds.
“While I was pregnant, I gorged on junk food,” she said.
“I was eating whole sharing bags of Haribos and packs of sausage rolls, as well as ordering takeaway for dinner.”
By her late 20s, Gillian weighed 25st and wore a dress size 30.
“I didn’t realise that my weight had got out of hand,” she said.
“Between looking after my children and going to work, I didn’t have the time to care about my figure.
“My colleagues used to call me ‘Big G’, after the Big Momma’s House character, but I thought it was because of my big personality – I loved to joke around in the staffroom.
“Plus, Colin loved me just the way I was, so I didn’t think I needed to change.”
Gillian claims that she didn’t realise how big she’d become because she had no full-length mirrors in the house.
“I’d tell Colin that the washing machine must be shrinking my clothes,” she said.
“I couldn’t understand why they didn’t fit any more.
“Looking back, it was easier than admitting the truth.”
Despite not being able to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, Gillian refused to believe she was overweight.
She only took notice when her husband told her that he noticed her breathing slowing down as she slept.
“Colin told me he’d wake up and I wouldn’t be breathing and he had to nudge me to get my lungs working again,” she said.
THEN and NOW: GILLIAN’S DIET
Breakfast: double serving of cornflakes with milk
Lunch: sandwiches made with four slices of bread, crisps and a chocolate bar
Dinner: takeaway or pie and chips
Snacks: Haribos, crisps, sausage rolls
Breakfast: small serving of porridge
Lunch: half a jacket potato with filling and salad
Dinner: fish or chicken with vegetables
Snacks: fruit and two litres of water
“He was clearly scared, and it made me realise I had to do something.”
In March 2014, Gillian visited her GP, who diagnosed her with restrictive airways syndrome – a condition caused by her enormous weight putting pressure on her lungs.
“My lungs were basically being squashed by my weight when I laid down,” she said.
“It was enough to terrify me into losing weight.
At 25st and 5ft 8in, Gillian’s BMI was 54.8 – more than double the healthy range of 18.5 to 25.
She was classed as morbidly obese, and her GP suggested a gastric bypass.
“When my doctor told me I needed the operation, I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“I told her I thought it was for fat people, and she just nodded at me.
“The penny finally dropped and I realised that I’d been kidding myself.”
Eight months later, in November 2014, she went to Salford Royal Hospital for the £11,000 operation – funded by the NHS.
Gillian said: “I was told that, because of my size, there was a chance that I might not make it through surgery.
“I was terrified, and I wrote a letter to Colin and each of my children in case I didn’t survive.”
The operation was a success, and Gillian followed a strict diet of pureed vegetables and soup for the first few weeks.
She said: “I cleared my kitchen of crisps, chocolate and sweets – all the junk food I used to love – and started going to the gym three times a week.”
In total, Gillian has lost 13st, slimming down to 12st and a dress size 12.
“I felt like a completely new person now,” she said.
“My friend told me that she’d seen me out with Colin and thought he was with another woman.
“Even now, I catch my reflection in the mirror and have to do a double take.
“Looking back, I can’t believe I couldn’t see how big I’d become.
“Having a gastric bypass was the best decision I ever made.”
By Sarah Barns of “The Sun” 27th June 2017, 12:14 pm
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