A Sidcup mum resembled "a fat person with all the air sucked out" after losing half her body weight.

Melissa Foreman, 44, had always struggled with her size as she grew up in America and first attended Weight Watchers aged eight.   

She tried dieting but after giving birth to twins she decided drastic action was needed to reduce her 24-stone frame.

The community health nurse, of Maidstone Road, Sidcup, had an operation which involved key-hole surgery to reduce the volume of her stomach - however she was then left with unsightly folds where her skin had stretched.

She has documented how she lost half her body weight and endured a further operation on on her beauty and lifestyle blog.

She told News Shopper: "I was always big. I was overweight as a child and a teenager and first went to Weight Watchers as a child with my mother.

"I was bullied as a teenager but now I feel like I’m making up for lost time. 

News Shopper:

"I was a binge eater and would eat a lot in secret, stopping off for a Big Mac and fries  before work so my colleagues wouldn’t know how much I ate. Food was my drug.

"I was bullied as a youngster and was not being invited to things – it’s not fun.

"I tried every diet you can think of including cabbage soup, Atkins, grapefruit."

Ms Foreman hid her insecurity behind a confident exterior.

She said: "I adopted the ‘I am big and beautiful woman’ persona and I was lucky I never had any obesity-related conditions such as diabetes. 

"Eight years ago I was 23 stone and there was a car driving the street and the driver slowed down and just mooed at me, the whole time. 

"But then I gave birth to twins in 2009 and I wanted to set a good example so I researched different operations.

News Shopper:

"My husband was concerned about the risks but was supportive of whatever I did."

Her mother remortgaged her house so Ms Foreman could have a gastric wrap privately done in the Czech Republic in 2012.

MORE TOP STORIES  She said: "It’s like having a gastric band but less invasive instead they fold the stomach in on itself. 

"The volume the stomach can hold is around a tenth of what it was before.

"It took me 18 months to lose around 12 stone - the operation completely changed my life."

However Ms Foreman was left with folds of excess flesh where her skin had stretched.

She said: "It looked like someone had just let the air out of a fat person."

News Shopper:

Ms Foreman then applied to a TV programme where the company paid for her to have several pounds of skin removed by a cosmetic surgeon.

She revealed in her blog: "I remember being so humiliated sending the pictures (to the programme makers) I actually cleared my browser and email account of any trace of those messages.

"It is a bit like looking at a discarded cocoon now."   

News Shopper:

 The mum-of-two is delighted with the results, having endured around £45,000 worth of surgery altogether.

She said: "I can wear anything I like the first time in my life and my stomach is flat.

"Now I’ve got all the confidence I wish I’d had as a teenager."

Visit @MelForeman or sofatsothin.wordpress.com