"My earliest memories of being overweight started many years ago, at primary school."
"I was teased right through school with all the usual nasty name calling. I tried to exercise in my teen years, bike riding, walking and swimming but it just never made any difference. Eating was my comfort zone."
"I struggled on throughout my early twenties where I met my husband and started a family. By this stage I had a torso that resembled a barrel. I weighed so much that when I went to the hospital to give birth, the nurse couldn't even see that I was pregnant."
"Five years later, my second pregnancy created a problem with the baby and my blood. I had morning sickness day and night for 9 months. Losing around 25 kilos resulting in a very jelly and loose belly. I longed to be skinnier and healthier."
"I made a promise to myself that whwn i was in the right position I would have surgery to help my situation."
"Six years later my children's father passed away and my self esteem and confidence plummeted even more. Even though I continued eating healthily I couldn't motivate myself to persevere with exercising. I felt uncomfortable with my weight."
"In the last five years, I have also had health issues that convinced me I needed help to remove the excess weight. I did some research on procedures that were available".
I now walk down the street with my head held high, sneaking glimpses of me in the windows of shops, thinking 'wow, that's me'. The extra energy I have makes me able to get down on the floor to play with my young grandsons."
"I now have the motivation to walk and exercise more!".
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