‘My partner loves me regardless. He says I’m not the same person and that I’m more reserved now that I’ve lost weight. I’m more insecure now.
‘My skin gets sore so I rely on creams when it breaks from sweating excessively or rubs on clothing.
‘I rely on body suits to help me fit into clothes better and it also acts as a barrier between jeans as they can be havoc on my stomach with it over hanging.
‘The excess skin holds me back from my ability to be as active as I’d like. I’m conscious people can hear it moving around in the gym so I wear garments underneath to hold me in which can be uncomfortable.’
Steph began her weight loss journey in January 2017 after a lifetime of being considered obese. She cut down on processed food such as kebabs and chips and began a regular exercise routine.
She now weighs a healthy 10st 9lb, but she’s been met with new health problems, including painful sores on her body thanks to her excess skin.
‘I used to survive on coffee through the day then have one super sized plate of mainly fried and processed food at night,’ says Steph.
‘I just cut out as much processed food as I could. I limit myself to one takeaway a month, cook my meals myself and eat lean meats and grill or bake food instead of fry.
‘It’s all about balance and moderation. I still eat crisps, chocolate and drink alcohol.
‘I try and keep my fluid intake at around two litres and go to the gym three times a week for an hour.’
Even at her new weight, Steph experiences muscle weakness and back ache.
She wants the surgery not just to relieve her of pain and discomfort, but to allow her to finally feel free to be in the world with confidence.
Steph says: ‘I know most people see it as cosmetic and there is a small aspect of it being cosmetic but surgery isn’t a decision to be taken lightly and I’m going to be left with scars.
‘I’m raising the money on GoFundMe for my sanity rather than vanity. I’ve done all I possibly can to change and the next steps are in the hands of a surgeon.
‘I’ve spent my whole life hiding away from the world. £12,000 is a large sum and I didn’t want to be in this situation but I don’t have any other option.
‘Whilst I lost weight to become more confident that’s not happened.
‘I struggle to engage my core and have a muscle weakness which gives me chronic back ache so it’s more than just skin removal.
‘I don’t want to continue to take painkillers, use creams and be reliant on medication.
‘I’m self-conscious about what I wear, I have good days where I feel amazing for what I’ve achieved but then I have bad days and I feel rubbish about my situation. I don’t want to continue to have issues with clothing and want to have to hide away and cover up.
‘Covering up especially in weathers as warm as we have at the moment is uncomfortable.
‘I want to enjoy summer times and swimming and blend in and not stand out.
‘I’m happy with myself and the person I am but incredibly self-conscious and feel I need to cover up to stop rude comments and stares.’
If you’d like to help Steph to feel more confident, you can donate through GoFundMe.
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