REAL LIFE TRANSFORMATIONS
Tina visited her doctor in October 2012, weighing in at 18 stone 12lbs (120 kilos) and he broke some devastating news to her; she was borderline diabetic. A trip to her dentist dealt the final blow. The dentist asked Tina if she ate a lot of sugar, as her teeth were starting to rot. She shrugged, and said, “Just look at me, what do you think?”
Tina admits that for years she was a ‘secret eater’, hiding food packaging and lying to herself about how much she was consuming. She kidded herself that as long as no one saw her eat, then she hadn’t actually eaten. Tina had no portion control and was eating junk food constantly. Her knees were starting to hurt under the strain, and she was constantly breathless. The doctor and the dentist shocked Tina into making a major, life changing decision…she vowed to lose the weight, and keep it off.
Tina Oliver, a 44 year old hairdresser from Harrogate in the UK, went from 19 stone and a UK dress size 26 in 2012, to weighing 11 stone and wearing a UK dress size 10 by 2013. How? She ate more healthily, took regular exercise and wore a Malory Band.
Tina was inspired to drop the pounds after seeing a photo of herself weighing 19 stone, about to tuck into a plate of cakes. The image, coupled with a warning from her doctor that she could become diabetic if she carried on with her dangerous eating habits, was the final push she needed. Tina’s teeth were rotting from years spent munching sweets, cakes and chocolate; and she had a morbidly obese Body Mass Index of 43.
Tina was given the Malory Band by a friend as a motivational tool, and also joined her local slimming club and the gym.
Tina said: “Last September I was so fat I could barely stand, and I struggled to work as a hairdresser. Seeing the photo of me in front of a pile of cakes was the last straw. I looked and felt terrible. Then I was warned about my long-term health by my doctor if I carried on eating as I was. It was just what I needed to kick-start me into losing weight and getting healthy.”
By using a Malory Band and following a slimming plan, Tina lost 8 stone in weight, 18 inches from her waist and 15 inches from her chest and hips.
Tina said: “It saved my life. Before, I would live on chocolate, biscuits and crisps all day. I was working as a hairdresser so it was easier just to grab something rather than have a sit down meal. “At dinnertime, I’d have a Chinese takeaway or a pizza, and I’d drink cups of tea with two sugars all day. The only exercise I did was to walk the dog.”
Tina is now preparing to do the 13m ‘Great North Run’ in September, something she had never imagined she could do.
“I could barely walk when I started,’ she said. ”I joined the gym, and the support I have had there has been amazing. I nearly passed out in my induction but I was determined to slim down. Now I can run 10k without stopping, and I’m looking forward to this huge run. I never could have imagined this time last year that I would be able to walk a mile, never mind run a half marathon. ‘I’m so excited about it, and I can’t believe that I’m ready to do it.
“Being told I was borderline diabetic wasn’t nice. I’d tried so many diets over the years but nothing really worked. This was the shock I needed to act. I started wearing the Malory Band. Every time I ate I would feel it tighten, and I’d stop eating. It made me realise I didn’t need to carry on eating, and the weight came off so quickly. I was still having a healthy diet, but the band was literally reining me in and making me constantly aware of what I was putting into my body”.
Saying that losing weight has ‘totally changed my life’, Tina added ‘I can’t express how happy I am about losing the weight. I have more confidence and energy and am a much happier person. Before, I’d go out with my friends and just want to hide away as they were all so slim and healthy. Now, I go shopping with them and chat about fashion, I wear trendy dresses and look forward to getting dressed up for a night out. I feel young again.
“My husband Michael has always said he loved me no matter what my size was, and now he’s thrilled to see me so happy and spends his life outside changing rooms while I try on slinky new clothes!”
Tina is thrilled to have hit her 11 stone target weight but is determined to go further. “Even though I’m not eating anywhere near as much, I have so much more energy. My skin is bright and I look and feel so much younger. I just wish I’d done it ten years ago. My Malory Band was a massive help as was having structured eating and exercise plans. Now I’m training so much, I’m expecting to lose another half a stone. And when I cross the race finish line, I’ll remember how far I’ve come, and feel very proud.”
Shelley says: ‘I was very happy to be getting married and I loved my dress. But what people didn’t know was that lurking underneath it was masses of loose skin. It was so bad that I’d had to tuck into control underwear.’
“I was in complete denial about my size and weight. I had no mirrors in my house apart from a small make-up mirror in the bathroom. I couldn’t bear the sight of myself, but it didn’t stop me eating”.
At her heaviest, Shelley got into all sorts of sticky situations. Washing herself became an ordeal and she often found herself wedged in the bath. She dreaded flying because she needed a seatbelt extender, and using public toilets was a no-no; she couldn’t fit into the cubicles. Even walking had become a problem. Shelley would drip with sweat and had to use talcum powder to ease the chafing on her thighs.
On top of everything, Shelley’s love life was non-existent. Hiding behind a dating website, Shelley tried looking for potential suitors, but a disastrous date soon put an end to her search.
She says “I met up with one man and we got on really well. At the end of the night he told me he really liked me. Then he dropped a bombshell. He told me he would be too embarrassed to introduce me to his family and friends, and that he wouldn’t be seen dead with me on his arm. With that, he walked away.”
Feeling enormous, depressed and unhealthy, there was worse to come. One night, Shelley was lying in bed when suddenly she felt the folds of skin around her body and neck closing in on her.
“It honestly felt like I was being suffocated,” she said. “I thought the weight of my fat was going to kill me.”
The next day, she secretly stood on a friend’s set of scales and gasped in horror as the digits flickered and landed on 22 stone.
“That’s when it dawned on me” she says, “I couldn’t carry on living like I was.”
Shelley borrowed £10,500 for a gastric bypass and lost five stone in the first year. After that, her weight plateaued but then she found the perfect solution. Though Shelley is happy to have lost so much weight and is far healthier than she’s ever been, her saggy skin constantly plays on her mind.
“I may look good when I’m dressed, but as soon as I remove my clothes I’m reminded of my ugly, puckered skin,” she says. “I’m fed up with folding it up and tucking it into my tights or trousers. It’s really getting me down.”
Shelley now hopes to find a surgeon to help finish her weight-loss journey and give her the slim body she deserves.
“I was so big I didn’t know I was 38 weeks pregnant!”
Sophie says “I was so fat I didn’t know I was pregnant. When the doctor told me I was pregnant, I didn’t expect to be holding a baby 4 hours later! At my heaviest, I weighed in at 21 stone and was a dress size 24. Thank goodness for my Malory Band. I have lost 7.5 stone and want to lose two more stone!”
Sophie Bird from Milcombe, Oxfordshire, had piled on so much weight that didn’t even know she was pregnant.
In September 2010 Sophie weighed 21 stone, and was dress size 24. She was excited to be bridesmaid at her best friend, Aimee’s wedding. Despite wedding guests commenting on, and joking about her size, Sophie remained completely unaware that she was about 38 weeks pregnant. Four days after the wedding she was holding baby Rowan in her arms.
“It was the biggest shock of my life, I was completely stunned. I had managed to carry a baby without changing shape or size for nearly 9 months. I had been fitted for my bridesmaids dress in May and it still fitted in September, just before I gave birth!”
Sophie had been a big eater as a child, but was also very active so she kept her weight around the 14 stone mark. When she left school and became less active, her daily diet of takeaways and booze saw her weight balloon to 19 stone. “I actually got stretch marks from putting weight on so quickly!” admits Sophie.
Sophie met Carl when she was 17 and they fell into a sofa-bound lifestyle of watching TV and eating takeaways and the pounds kept piling on. Sophie and Carl lived together for the next 7 tears, but over time the relationship fell into a rut, and Sophie was desperately unhappy. She ate to anaesthetise herself. She tipped the scales at 21 stone and she had crept up to size 24.
“At various points in my life, I’ve tried to lose weight. I think I’ve tried every diet going; Weight Watchers, 5:2 and Atkins. They all worked for a while, but none of them were sustainable, so whatever weight I lost, it all piled back on, and more” Sophie explains.
Sophie had a very low opinion of herself. She didn’t feel like she was worth looking after, “I would look at myself in the mirror and feel numb. I could look after other people, but not myself. I started acting like a clown around my friends to cover up the sadness I had inside. I was really unhappy and that made me want to eat more and more. I wore a tent every day to cover myself up. I never felt normal, or attractive. I used to say to myself that my life is about quiet resignation now, this is as much as I can expect”.
In the nine months leading up to Aimee’s wedding in 2010, Sophie had visited the doctor about ten times complaining of indigestion, stomach ache and nausea. Being 21 stone, nobody had spotted she was pregnant. Sophie says “I was on the pill, and as a child I’d been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. They told me I’d need help to conceive, so it never dawned on me that I could be pregnant”
“Two days after Aimee’s wedding, I was in so much pain at lunchtime that I rang the doctor and made an appointment for 5pm. This time, the doctor did a pregnancy test and confirmed I was pregnant, but no-one knew how many weeks! The doctor sent me off to A&E where I had an internal examination. I was 4cm dilated and in full labour! A porter put me in a wheelchair and pushed me across the car park, at some crazy speed, to the maternity unit. It was all nuts, I couldn’t believe what was happening!”
Rowan was born at 9pm, just four hours after Sophie found out she was pregnant. “It was completely surreal. One minute my life was normal, next minute I had a beautiful little baby boy! I had no baby equipment so my friends and family rallied round to get me all the baby equipment. They were amazing.”
“Eight months after Rowan was born, on my 30th birthday, I found out Carl was having an affair with my best friend. It completely broke me. I kicked him out and was so traumatised and so stressed by it all that I couldn’t face eating. I felt constantly sick, and as a result my size started to shrink. I knew that this was the right time to get control back of my life, my body, my mind and my eating. I set my mind to losing the weight and vowed never, ever put it back on.”
“Over the next few years I took up Morris Dancing and Roller Derby to keep active. I also joined the gym and made sure I did some kind of exercise every day. I changed my diet to fresh, healthy food and limited my portion size. The weight started to drop off me. I lost 5 stone and was feeling great, much more happy and confident.”
In October 2013, looking for a fitness challenge, Sophie signed up for the 26 mile charity Moon Walk that was to take place in the dark, in London, the following May 2014. At the same time her friend told her about Malory Band, so she bought one and used it to monitor her waist size and portion control.
Sophie loves her Malory Band “It was just what I needed. I wish I had known about it before. I love it because it’s not a diet. I make all the decisions about what I eat and my Malory Band reminds me if I have had enough to eat. It’s so simple and so effective. Everyone should have one!”
When I started wearing the Malory Band. it would start to feel tight when I ate, and so I’d stop eating. It made me realise I didn’t need to carry on eating, and the weight came off so quickly. I was still having a healthy diet, but the band was literally reining me in and making me constantly aware of what I was putting into my body.”
Sophie says “I can’t express how happy I am about losing the weight. I have more confidence and energy and am a much happier person. Before, I’d go out with my friends and just want to hide away as my friends were all so slim and healthy. I feel full of energy, I feel alive and I am so happy! And of course, now I have my wonderful Rowan, he’s the sunshine in my life.”
Sophie isn’t worried about the weight piling back on, she says “I guarantee you won’t ever see me like that again. My Malory Band is like a friend that stays with me constantly, and it will help me to lose another two stone. I know the weight will never return.”
Sophie is thrilled to have lost 7.5 stone but is aiming to lose another 2 stone by summer 2015. “Even though I’m not eating anywhere near as much, I have so much more energy. My skin is bright and I look and feel so much younger. The Malory Band was a massive help.”
“I want everyone who is overweight or obese to see what I have achieved and know that they can do it too. It’s just a case of getting started, staying focused and having a goal in the future. Just watch me smash the Monster Run and Colour Run later this year, and who knows what I will achieve in 2015!”
After seeing some photos of herself at a friend’s wedding, Catherine was shocked by the reality of how she looked and she could no longer deny her need to lose a significant amount of weight. This was her motivation to spend the next two years losing over four stone through sensible eating and regular exercise.
Determined never to put the weight back on, Catherine decided to try the Malory Band to maintain her new size 12 shape. Catherine says, “I lived in a constant state of fear that the weight would come back on, that I would give up the diet or simply overeat, in the way that if you deny yourself a particular food, all you crave is that food. I was a slave to the scales and was demoralised if I put a single pound on”.
“When I started wearing the Malory Band, it helped me understand that I might not be losing weight, but if the band became looser, then I was certainly changing shape. I dropped a dress size but no weight, it was all in my shape. And ultimately, who cares what you weigh, if you look good in your clothes? It meant I began to relax a little, and to regard food and eating in a more relaxed way.”
Catherine is determined to maintain her new shape and after 18 months of being able to do so, she is quite sure that she is never going to take off her band. It is for her, “the only way I can live now. I never want to be fat again and need a constant reminder. You do have to have will power to keep the band on and not junk the whole concept. But if you can lose the weight like I did, you’ve probably got the willpower to ensure that the Malory Band works for you.”
Helen is 43 and has yo-yo’d in weight all her life but by the age of 25, had plateaued at around 12 stone and wore a 14-16 dress size. At her wedding to Chris in 2001, she dieted and exercised for the first time in her life to get down to all time low of 9½ stone. However, within a year she was up to 11½ stone and over the next few years, stayed within the 11½-12½ stone range.
“I do love food”, says Helen. “When Chris and I were married, we spent a lot of time going out, being sociable and thinking nothing of eating take-away food regularly, washed down with a cheap bottle of plonk. He didn’t mind my size, he loved me for who I am, bless him! So it was easier to buy the next size up rather than thinking about changing our lifestyle. I didn’t exercise at all and didn’t bother to examine why I no longer looked as I had on my wedding day.”
In 2004, after the birth of her only child, Helen lost some weight very suddenly that she attributed to breast feeding. However, coupled with feeling very tired, faint and hot, Helen visited her doctor and was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid. Her treatment led to an under active thyroid which is, unfortunately a life-long condition. Symptoms include hair loss, itchy skin, irritability, and a tendency to put weight on very easily.
Helen remained a size 16 until 2011 when she, Chris and their daughter moved in with her parents to work on a renovation project. With her 40th birthday in her sights, Helen hit the gym, partially as a means of getting out of the house and away from the busyness of two families living together. The combination of a personal trainer and exercise classes wove their magic spell and soon Helen was visiting the local leisure centre every other day. Within 12 months, Helen had lost over a stone.
A friend of Helen’s had created a weight loss product, the Malory Band, and was inviting people to wear the prototype band as ‘test drivers’. Helen first put her band on in November 2012 which she wore 24/7 for about five months, with another stone lost as a result. She was absolutely delighted.
“But then one day, I took my Malory Band off. I don’t remember why but once it was off, I didn’t put it back on again. Within weeks, I had put on seven pounds and couldn’t wear my jeans. And then I bumped into Penny Mallory, creator of the Malory Band, one day who asked me about how I was doing, if I had made any more progress. Well, that was it! I went straight home and put the band back on, duly noting that I had to go up a couple of button-holes to get it to fit. Three months later, that half stone was gone and now that I wear my band every day. I know it’s not coming back!”
In January 2014, Helen received a call from Penny, asking her to feature in a promotional video that was to be shown at exhibitions in Lebanon and Dubai. Helen didn’t hesitate.
“I’m the tummy of Malory Band! What an honour. And I know that Penny wouldn’t have asked me if she didn’t know that I have tried, and conquered my weight issues by using her invention. It’s such a simple product but one that is staying firmly around my waist. I know I have a tendency to be heavy and this is the safest and most effective means that I have tried. I still go to the gym and I try to eat healthily; all things combined have kept me at 10 stone for the last few months and this is where I intend to stay!”
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