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Mum once among ‘fattest people in UK’ loses 10st after she ‘feared she’d die’

A mum who once starred on Britain's Fattest people has shed 10 stone after fearing she would die.

Emily Ingold, 26, was so big she even had a seatbelt extension for her car.

But now she looks almost unrecognisable after shedding almost half her bodyweight.

Emily had tipped the scales at a shocking 26st 7lb and squeezed into a size 32, with doctors warning her she needed to lose weight or face an early grave.

She struggled to fit behind the wheel of the family's Ford Focus and even had to order a seat belt extension when she struggled to breathe with a normal sized safety belt.

After appearing on TV programme Britain's Fattest people, Emily, from Kettering, Northants, underwent gastric surgery and committed to changing her lifestyle for the sake of her children.

Now, she's more than 10 stone lighter, and continuing to lose weight – and is absolutely unrecognisable.

Emily, who is mum to Harry, six, and four-year-old Riley, said: "I had an addiction to eating food; as soon as I thought of food, I wanted it. I would be anxious, angry and upset if I didn't get it. I was referred to an eating disorder clinic and then some counselling.

"Life is so much better for my boys as well – I couldn't play with them without getting out of breath and now we can do so much more together and they have definitely noticed a difference.

"I couldn't do everyday stuff. I had to get my young children to help me do the washing because I couldn't bend down to put the clothes in the machine.

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"They need me – I didn't want them to lose their mum at such a young age but I would fail at every diet I tried. It wasn't fair on them and they shouldn't have had to deal with that."

The teaching assistant says she has always had a bad relationship with food from a young age and would regularly steal food from around the house.

"I would have my dinner and then I would finish my sister's dinner behind my parent's back.

I would help myself to snacks and my parents would have to stop me but as I got older and I started earning my own money, that's when it really spiralled out of control as I had the freedom to buy and eat what I wanted to.

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"I didn't notice the weight going on until I had to order uniform for a job I had at the time and I ordered a size 14 but it was way too small and I actually needed a 20".

By the time she had her children, Emily was a size 32 and was eating most of the day.

She struggled to fit into her car, but would drive to McDonalds every morning after dropping the children off at nursery for a take away breakfast – followed by multi-packs of crisps for snacks and a takeaway most nights.

She added: "When I was at my heaviest, I was fully aware of it, my body was telling me that I needed to stop eating – my back hurt, I was having difficulty breathing and it got to a point where I thought I was going to die.

"It was horrible. I was down all the time, tired all the time, I had no energy, I was in constant pain with my back, legs and hips.
"I struggled to walk up the stairs or go for a walk without my back being in agony; I could hardly fit behind the steering wheel and needed a seat belt extender in order to fit in comfortably.

"I was so depressed I couldn't find the motivation to kickstart my weight loss."

Emily appeared in the Channel 4 documentary, Shut Ins: Britain's Fattest People, at her heaviest in 2018 and, in the show, underwent drastic weight-loss surgery. The sleeve gastrectomy, fully funded by the production, removed approximately 80% of Emily's stomach and has changed her life for the better.

She added: "I saw the ad for the show whilst scrolling on Facebook and there was a casting call looking for 'morbidly obese young adults' and I was only 23 at the time so I applied – it was the best thing I've ever done.

"The surgery was a turning point for me; as soon as I woke up I felt instantly different. People say to me, 'do you ever regret having it done' but I don't know whether I would be here without it or not.

"I wouldn't have been able to afford the surgery on my own as it would have cost me about £10,000 so I feel extremely lucky that I was given the opportunity – it really has changed my life.

Now, Emily is getting closer to her goal weight by the day and can't wait to see what the future brings.

"I would love to get to a size 14 – that would be my ideal dress size and I would be so happy with that. The surgery does limit me a lot – I can't eat huge portions of food and I have to be really careful with my sugar intake but I wouldn't change it.

"I have so much more energy, I can do everyday things and most importantly I can finally play with my children and go out for walks with them which is the best feeling."

EMILY'S DIET BEFORE:
BREAKFAST: McDonalds – two breakfast wraps, sausage and egg McMuffin, milkshake, five hash-browns
SNACK: 4-5 packets of crisps mid morning
LUNCH: 4 slices bread, sandwich, couple of chocolate bars, couple of packets of crisps
DINNER: Takeaway – "some days I wouldn't have dinner I would just binge on anything I could find".
EMILY'S DIET NOW:
BREAKFAST: Cereal, yoghurt, protein shake
LUNCH: Salads
AFTERNOON SNACK: Snackajacks or banana
DINNER: Slimming World dinners, jacket potato or anything homemade

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