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Hampshire woman forks out £30,000 on weight loss surgery

A woman has lost almost 14 stone after spending an astonishing £30,000 on weight loss surgery.

Gemma Glover, 36, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, ballooned to 22 stone 7 lbs after her eating spiralled out of control and realised she would have to go to extreme lengths to reach a healthy weight. 

Following a tummy tuck, gastric band and a gastric bypass costing thousands of pounds, Gemma weighs a healthy 8 stone 9 lbs and is a slim size 8.

The patient administrator said: ‘I knew my weight would kill me one day and that I needed to take responsibility for my actions. I was scoffing far too much food.

‘I don’t think the NHS should be forced to pay for something I did to myself so I decided to go private. It’s my fault I was fat.’

Gemma now weighs 8st 9lbs and is a size 8

Gemma ballooned to 22 stone 7 lbs (left, in 2008) after her eating spiralled out of control and realised she would have to go to extreme lengths to reach a healthy weight.

Gemma had always struggled with her weight. At birth, she weighed 9 lbs 13 oz – and wore clothes for a one-year-old and, by the age of ten, she already weighed 10 stone.

She recalled: ‘My mum tried to get my weight under control so I went to Weight Watchers as a child.

‘I loved food, scoffing huge portions and eating chocolate and pastries right before bed time.’

By the time Gemma had turned 20 in 2001, her weight tipped the scales at 18 stone and she wore a dress size 20.

She explained: ‘Diets never worked for me as I always turned back to junk food. The doctor told me I was obese and a borderline diabetic. He prescribed me slimming pills.’

Gemma’s first weight loss bid: Slimming pills and a tummy tuck

A year later in January 2002, Gemma weighed 11 stone and was a size 12 – having lost an impressive 7 stone thanks to the tablets – but her extreme weight loss left her with a saggy stomach.

GEMMA’S WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY BILL 

January 2002 Tummy tuck and fat removal: £7,500

2008 Gastric band: £8,500

September 2015: gastric band removal, bypass: £14,800 

TOTAL: £30,800 

‘Despite being slim, I was still unhappy with my figure and researched surgery options,’ she said.

That month, Gemma underwent a private ‘tummy tuck’ (abdominoplasty) at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth using her life savings to pay the surgery costs of £7,500.

During the five-hour procedure, Gemma had 9 lbs of loose skin and 1.5 litres of fat removed.

She revealed: ‘Once the swelling went down, I felt confident. But as time passed, I slipped into old habits and started bingeing on junk food again.’

Gemma recovering from surgery in hospital. She has undergone three separate procedures since 2008 including a tummy tuck and fat removal, gastric band and a gastric bypass

Gemma recovering from surgery in hospital. She has undergone three separate procedures since 2008 including a tummy tuck and fat removal, gastric band and a gastric bypass

Gemma (pictured hree in 2001, weighing 18 stone and wearing a size 20). She said: 'I don't think the NHS should be forced to pay for something I did to myself so I decided to go private. It's my fault I was fat'

Gemma (pictured hree in 2001, weighing 18 stone and wearing a size 20). She said: ‘I don’t think the NHS should be forced to pay for something I did to myself so I decided to go private. It’s my fault I was fat’

Gemma (right) pictured in 2011 with her sister Keli. She weighed 14 stone here but now, following three separate procedures, she has slimmed down to a healthy 8 stone 9 lbs

Gemma (right) pictured in 2011 with her sister Keli. She weighed 14 stone here but now, following three separate procedures, she has slimmed down to a healthy 8 stone 9 lbs

Drastic results: Going private with a gastric band operation 

By 2008, Gemma’s 5ft 2in frame tipped the scales at a staggering 22 stone 7 lbs and she had ballooned to a size 26.

Every day, she’d plough through a multipack of crisps, a packet of biscuits and sausage rolls as well as fatty, carb-laden dinners, consuming 5,000 calories a day.

Gemma says: ‘I was killing myself. My mum, who was also overweight, had a gastric band to help her shed the pounds. After watching the weight drop off her, I decided to follow the same route.’

Gemma took out a bank loan to pay for the £8,500 gastric band operation and lost 7 stone within two years, getting down to 13 stone - but the band later failed (pictured here in 2013)

Gemma took out a bank loan to pay for the £8,500 gastric band operation and lost 7 stone within two years, getting down to 13 stone – but the band later failed (pictured here in 2013)

Gemma pictured in 2014 weighing 17 stone - almost twice her current weight

Gemma pictured in 2014 weighing 17 stone – almost twice her current weight

Soon after, Gemma took out a bank loan to pay for the £8,500 gastric band operation and lost 7 stone within two years, getting down to 13 stone and a size 14.

‘The band worked at first but, seven years later, I realised I getting hungry quicker and more often,’ she said. ‘I was also gaining weight so went to my surgeon.

‘He explained that my band had failed and that it needed to be removed or I risked it rupturing my throat.’

Botched gastric band and a £14,800 bypass 

By then, Gemma’s weight had crept back up to 21 stone 9 lbs. So in September 2015, she underwent a three-hour operation where doctors removed the band then fitted a gastric bypass costing £14,800 – which Gemma paid for using a mixture of savings and another loan.

The procedure has reduced Gemma’s stomach to the size of a ping pong ball, and today she is able consume just three to four mouthfuls of food a day – a quarter of a chicken, vegetables, and a quarter of a sandwich – with doctors warning her stomach wouldn’t be able to handle any more than that.

Gemma had always struggled with her weight. At birth, she weighed 9 lbs 13 oz - and wore clothes for a one-year-old and, by the age of ten, she already weighed 10 stone (pictured here aged six)

Gemma had always struggled with her weight. At birth, she weighed 9 lbs 13 oz – and wore clothes for a one-year-old and, by the age of ten, she already weighed 10 stone (pictured here aged six)

Gemma (pictured here as a little girl) has always struggled with her weight .She said: 'I'm still getting used to being slim - I keep trying to buy my old size 26 clothes'

Gemma (pictured here as a little girl) has always struggled with her weight .She said: ‘I’m still getting used to being slim – I keep trying to buy my old size 26 clothes’

Luckily the bypass was a success – and, two years on, Gemma has lost an incredible 13 stone 12 lbs and wears a petite size 8.

She said: ‘Even now, I’m still conscious of my body. Such extreme weight loss has taken its toll and now I have a stone of loose skin on my stomach, which I have to tuck into my knickers.’

Moving on: Gemma says she’s glad she went to ‘extreme lengths’ 

Luckily Gemma’s boyfriend, Gavin Stubbs, 26, a construction ground worker, compliments her on her new figure.

Gemma added: ‘I’m still getting used to being slim – I keep trying to buy my old size 26 clothes.’

Supportive partner: Gemma's boyfriend, Gavin Stubbs, 26, a construction ground worker, compliments her on her new figure

Supportive partner: Gemma’s boyfriend, Gavin Stubbs, 26, a construction ground worker, compliments her on her new figure

Looking back on her transformation, Gemma (pictured with a friend earlier this year) said: 'My weight never restricted me from doing anything - I've always been confident and bubbly. But I'm glad that I took extreme lengths to be slim'

Looking back on her transformation, Gemma (pictured with a friend earlier this year) said: ‘My weight never restricted me from doing anything – I’ve always been confident and bubbly. But I’m glad that I took extreme lengths to be slim’

Not over yet: Over the next few years, Gemma (pictured here in 2011) is planning to spend another £20,000 on more surgery, including a body lift, uplift and breast implants

Not over yet: Over the next few years, Gemma (pictured here in 2011) is planning to spend another £20,000 on more surgery, including a body lift, uplift and breast implants

Transformation: Following a tummy tuck, gastric band and a gastric bypass costing thousands of pounds, Gemma weighs a healthy 8 stone 9 lbs and is a slim size 8

Transformation: Following a tummy tuck, gastric band and a gastric bypass costing thousands of pounds, Gemma weighs a healthy 8 stone 9 lbs and is a slim size 8

Over the next few years, she is planning to spend another £20,000 on more surgery, including a body lift, uplift and breast implants.

‘I’ll need to take out another loan for future surgery but I don’t have any debt as [my] previous loans have all been paid off,’ she said.

‘My weight never restricted me from doing anything – I’ve always been confident and bubbly. But I’m glad that I took extreme lengths to be slim.

‘My weight was killing me but it was my own fault.’

Gemma’s diet before 

Breakfast: Nothing

Lunch: Pasty, crisps and fizzy drinks

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread

Snacks: packet of biscuits, toast, cake

…and her diet now 

Breakfast: half a piece of toast

Lunch: one slice of bread into a sandwich with ham filling

Dinner: sausage and some carrots

Snacks: no snacks

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk