At her heaviest, Beth Houston tipped the scales at 18st before she started her weight loss transformation.
The 46-year-old gained weight in her twenties after taking steroids to treat bronchitis, an infection in the lungs.
As she struggled to slim down, the mum-of-three began to comfort eat by secretly snacking on ice cream, cookies and pizza.
Beth, of Texas, US, felt “grotesque” when she looked in the mirror and often suffered cruel jibes.
“I wouldn’t look in the mirror and when I did”
After failing to see results with diets and pills, she opted to have gastric sleeve surgery in May 2016.
Combined with a healthy diet, it helped Beth to shed an incredible 9st (127lbs).
The registered nurse said: “Before, people would call me ‘fatty’ or say, ‘Oh Lord, look at her’. I wouldn’t look in the mirror and when I did, honestly I felt grotesque.
“I stopped going to stores around 35 because I got no enjoyment from it. Everything seemed to make me look like a tent.
“I had heels but I couldn’t wear them because my feet would swell. It was mainly slip-on shoes that didn’t tie or buckle.
“Before I gained the weight I wore heels and sandals. I could wear stylish things, versus wearing just what I could get or stand.”
Although Beth was athletic while growing up, she suffered health problems in her twenties and was hospitalised with bronchitis and pneumonia.
Then in May 2016, she underwent gastric sleeve surgery, worth around £11,000 ($18,000), at Harbin Bariatric Clinic in Georgia.
The surgery reduced the size of her stomach to 3oz, which caused her to eat far less than the 3,500 calories per day she used to consume.
And it forced Beth to switch her old diet of McDonald’s and Chinese for something healthier.
She added: “After the surgery my weight fell off very quickly. Before the surgery I was a size 20 (UK 24) and by Christmas I was down to an eight (UK 12).
“I still shy away from pictures – after ten plus years of being heavy, it’s hard to break. But when I wear a dress and heels I feel more like a woman.
“It makes me feel better that I have options. I no longer feel grotesque.”
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