Once an obese woman, she’s now stuck living life with inches of loose skin hanging down.
Sharon Faint says she looks like “a complete monster,” now that she has lost 252 pounds of weight. The woman from Barrington, Cambridge, used to weigh 434 pounds and wore a dress size 34. She got to that weight by having junk food and other high-calorie takeaways.
Doctors warned her about her health status, so she underwent a gastric sleeve operation paid for by the NHS. She lost a lot of weight, but she is now unsure about her solution to her weight problem.
Now wearing a size 16 and weighing 173 pounds, she says because of the surgery, she looks like a “mess” under her clothes. She is afraid that she will not find love because of the way she looks.
She explains, “I know I should feel great, but the truth is, I feel more insecure about my new shape than ever. My dramatic weight loss has left me with a huge apron of saggy skin on my stomach and hideous bingo wings. No amount of exercise will shift the folds of loose flab, and I have to wear incredibly supportive underwear if I want to go out anywhere.”
Though Sharon wants to meet someone special, she says it could be close to impossible because her confidence is so low. She adds, “I look like a complete monster. I have to tuck in my skin whenever I go anywhere, and I can’t wear short sleeves as I’ve got about four inches of skin hanging down on my arms. It makes me think that I’ve made a massive mistake. I don’t know how I’ll ever find a boyfriend looking and feeling like this. Maybe I should have just stayed fat.”
The way her body looks now has had a negative impact. You might expect her to be more social now that she is a lot slimmer, but she just finds it hard to be confident and happy with her body when she has so much skin to hide. Doctors had hoped that her drastic weight loss would lead to finding love, but so far that has not happened.
When Sharon sees herself in the mirror, it upsets her. Even taking a shower makes her upset and feel insecure. She has applied to the NHS to get a tummy tuck so she could boost her self-confidence.
Before having her gastric sleeve put on, Sharon would eat up to five takeaways a week. Her favorite meal would be something like BBQ ribs, chicken chow mein, prawn crackers, and a huge portion of prawn toast. For dessert, she would have chocolate ice cream or cake with custard. A typical breakfast before would have been something from the McDonald’s breakfast menu, followed by fish and chips for lunch. Throughout the day she would also have chocolates and potato chips.
Sharon was a chubby girl growing up, but she lost control of her eating habits as an adult. She loved food and would eat until she was sick. She continues, “I wasn’t surprised when a doctor officially classed me as a binge-eater. My flabby figure meant I’d never found a long-term boyfriend and my confidence soon hit an all-time low. Struggling to walk, I was forced to give up work and my doctor often warned me that my morbid obesity posed huge risks to my health.”
She had tried diets but ended up failing. She wanted to find love but would end up comfort-eating. When the doctor told her she had sleep apnea, she wanted to make a change. In February 2012, she underwent the gastric sleeve operation.
A gastric sleeve reduced the size of her stomach to about 25 percent of its original size. A week after the surgery, she lost 14 pounds. She ate smaller portions and stopped the Chinese food takeaways. Vegetables and lean meat were taken in favor of chocolate bars. She also started exercising, a habit she has kept since then. She now walks a lot and also swims several times a week.
When she was overweight, she had to quit her job, but now she is worker as a carer in the community and she no longer has sleep apnea. Even though she is not satisfied with her looks, her friends continue to compliment her on her new figure. Another benefit she received from the weight loss is extra cash since she does not spend a lot on her takeaways anymore.