A woman who was mistaken for a gastric band patient has lost an incredible seven stone.
Amanda Jones claims when she went into hospital for a routine hernia operation, she discovered she’d been put in a room for obese patients after doctors thought she was having gastric band surgery.
She only made the discovery when she sat in a reinforced chair and realised it was comfier than other chairs she’d sat in, because it was extra-wide.
Mum-of-three Jones, 45, had suffered for years with health problems due to her frame and weighed almost 17 stone after having children.
Before losing weight, Jones would gorge on packets of crisps, easily eating a multi-pack every day, leaving her a size 24.
The excess weight took its toll on her petite 5ft 2 frame, leaving her with a BMI of 42.6 – a healthy range is between 18.5 and 25.
But realising she’d been put in a hospital room designed for obese patients was the final straw for her – and a month later, she joined Slimming World and is now a size 8.
Jones, a bank worker from Gloucester, said: “I was a size 12 before having children, but with each pregnancy I never got the weight off – I just spiralled out of control and fell into a vicious circle.
“I was so unfit that I could barely walk and would get out of breath easily – so when I went to the park with my kids I just sat on the bench and watched from afar.
“I would often turn to food for comfort - I loved crisps and would easily get through a multi-pack, I’d often have several packs in one sitting.
“It did start to take its toll on me – I had osteoarthritis in both knees, and it was so severe that my consultant said I should have knee replacements, but I was too young for surgery. Some days it even left me unable to walk.
“But the turning point was in August 2015 – I’d gone into hospital for a hernia operation.
“I have private health cover, so I was in my own room. I sat down in the chair, and I thought ‘this is much better than a normal chair, I don’t have to squeeze myself in’.
“That’s when I realised I was in a room for gastric band patients, and the chair was extra-wide because it was specially designed for obese people. I was absolutely mortified.”
Jones, who is mum to Harry, 18, George, 16, and 13-year-old Lucy, came out of hospital and signed up to Slimming World a month later.
She cut out junk food and takeaways in favour of healthy, home-cooked meals – and the weight started dropping off.
Jones also hit the gym six days a week, doing Pilates, cardio, spinning, swimming and Zumba. The whole family have joined in with her new healthy regime.
She said: “Joining Slimming World was the best decision I ever made.
“Before I was so down – I tried to hide it, but I knew people made comments about my weight and it really got to me.
“One of my daughter’s friends once described me as ‘really large’ – that hurt me, and I didn’t want Lucy or the boys to end up getting stick for my weight.
“Now I’ve lost the weight, I feel like a new woman.
“I used to hate my photograph being taken, because I never liked what I saw. Now I’m a selfie queen!
“I can go out with the kids and not feel embarrassed – I love going shopping with Lucy, and I love being able to buy clothes because I like them, not just because they’ll hide my figure.
“Lucy doesn’t like the fact I can borrow her clothes now though!
“I’ve got a new lease of life – it’s not a diet, it’s a complete lifestyle change.”
Breakfast: Cereal, several rounds of white toast slathered with butter
Lunch: Sandwich from work deli bar, several packets of crisps, chocolate bar
Dinner: Ready meal or takeaway
Snacks: Muffins, pizza slices, sausage rolls, crisps, chocolate
Breakfast: Special K cereal with skimmed milk
Lunch: Homemade Slimming World soup
Dinner: Home cooked Slimming World friendly meals – eg chilli