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IN People ON 29 Sep, 2015
We’ve heard weird cases of people who were obese or lost weight in an inspirational way. Here’s Alison Kingsley, 42, of Cambridge, who adds up to the list. Her confession of being an “emotional eater” clears out why her stomach burst due to her overeating habit, followed by operations.
Let’s find out her story.
The doctors did another surgery to stop the developing pneumonia, for which they had to keep her in a medically-induced coma for three weeks.
She said: "I was an emotional eater - I ate whenever I needed a lift, whether I was happy or low. I was addicted to carbs and loved bread, chips and pasta. As Ellise became old enough to start running around I reached size 28, which meant I was dangerously big and unable to keep up with her. I saw two dieticians and even tried hypnotherapy, but nothing worked. If anything I just got fatter."
But soon, three lumps grew in her stomach which swelled up to an alarming size. "My body really struggled to recover," says the mother. "The doctor explained they were hernias - and that they had appeared as a result of me being overweight. My excess bodyweight had put pressure on my abdominal wall and caused the hernias to push out even further. I was mortified by the situation."
Alison shares her pain: "As well as being painful, the hernias caused me a lot of embarrassment. People actually thought I was pregnant. Strangers nudged each other as I walked down the street and pointed to my huge stomach. Some people even stopped me to ask when I was due." It was a rough time for her. "Once, while I was in town, a shop assistant came over to me to ask if I needed any special assistance. She actually asked me when my little bundle of joy would arrive. It got so bad that I even toyed with the idea of wearing a T-shirt with the words, 'hernias, NOT babies!' written on it."
"The problem was that it was impossible to walk a few metres, let alone exercise to burn calories. The only option was to have gastric surgery to kickstart the weight loss." In September 2013, doctors carried out a gastric sleeve operation along with repairing hernias, but soon she was sick with pneumonia, for which she was kept in a coma for three weeks. She said: "My friends had barely left my side while I was laid up in hospital. They had set up a Facebook group to keep everyone updated as to my progress. They had even taken turns to look after Ellise. The damage had been catastrophic. I could barely speak at first. I also had to relearn how to walk." She's glad for the change that came in her physical state. "Despite everything, I don't regret having the surgery. So far I've lost nine stone and I've shrunk to size 16. My distended stomach is a thing of the past. I have far more energy and I have loads of confidence. Shopping is now one of my favourite past-times. I've started swimming and getting fit - and I've also taken up horse riding, which is something I loved to do when I was a child. I'm finally light enough to mount a horse again. When I look back at how unhappy I was when my stomach was swollen, I'm so happy that my life has changed for the better."