• Julia Sidwell

My saggy secret

Tell and Sell Stories were keen to work with Shelley who had struggled with her weight since childhood. Over the years, the pounds piled on until she was a colossal size 26. But when she had gastric surgery to lose the weight, she was left with piles of saggy skin - something she detestes. We shared her story on MailOnline and in That's Life magazine.

Sell my weight loss story

Shelley says: ‘I was in complete denial about my size and weight. I had no mirrors in my house apart from a small make-up mirror in the bathroom. I couldn’t bear the sight of myself.'

Being fat made every day a struggle for Shelley. Just washing herself became an ordeal because she would get wedged in the bath. She dreaded flying because she needed a seatbelt extender, and using public toilets was a no-no – she couldn’t fit into the cubicles. Even walking had become a problem – Shelley would drip with sweat and had to use talcum powder to ease her chafing thighs.

On top of everything, Shelley's love life was non-existent. Hiding behind a dating website, she tried looking for potential suitors, but a disastrous date soon put an end to her search…

Shelley, a support worker from Hemel Hempstead, says: ‘I met up with one man and we got on really well. At the end of the night he told me he really liked me. Then he dropped a bombshell – he told me he would be too embarrassed to introduce me to his family and friends, and that he wouldn't be seen dead with me on his arm. With that, he walked away.'

Feeling enormous, depressed and unhealthy, there was worse to come. One night, Shelley was lying in bed when suddenly she felt the folds of skin around her body and neck closing in on her.

‘It honestly felt like I was being suffocated,' she said. 'I thought the weight of my fat was going to kill me.'

The next day, she secretly stood on a friend’s set of scales and gasped in horror as the digits landed on 22 stone.

‘That’s when it dawned on me,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t carry on living like I was.’

Shelley borrowed £10,500 for a gastric bypass and lost five stone in the first year.

After that, her weight plateaued but then she found the perfect solution - the Malory Band. Wearing it helped her lose a stubborn five stone and eventually she got down to a healthy 12 stone and dress size 12.

Losing almost half her body weight allowed Shelley to meet the love of her life. She got married wearing a stunning ivory gown, but she held a secret from her guests…

She says: ‘I was very happy to be getting married and I loved my dress. But what people didn’t know was that lurking underneath it was masses of loose skin that I’d tucked into control underwear that morning.’

Though Shelley is happy to have lost so much weight and is far healthier than she’s ever been, her saggy skin constantly plays on her mind.

‘I may look good when I’m dressed, but as soon as I remove my clothes I’m reminded how ugly my body is,' she says. ‘I’m fed up of folding the skin and tucking it into my tights or trousers. And when people say how great I look, I whip it out and show them. That usually shuts them up.'

Shelley now dreams of having her skin removed so she can finally get the slim body she dreams of.

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