A super-slimmer who was left with the ‘body of E.T.’ after losing 100kg has opened up about her staggering transformation.
Chantelle Fleming, 30, from Melbourne, suffered agonising chaffing, rubbing and severe skin infections due to her hanging skin that weighed nearly 6kg.
She was left embarrassed by her ‘melted candle body’ following weight loss
until five months ago, when she flew to Destination Beauty in Thailand for an extended tummy tuck, combined breast augmentation with lift to change her B-cups to E-cups.
Now three-years-on from the beginning of her journey she is unrecognisable, following doctors’ deathly warning her to ‘lose weight or die,’ when she weighed a hefty 180kg.
Chantelle, who works administration and sales support, said: ‘I was experiencing a lack of self-confidence within my body whether it be in my relationship or how I could wear clothes.
‘I was at the gym five to six days a week and following an eating plan which was within my calorie range, but it didn’t matter how hard I pushed myself, the skin would just not reduce.
‘I needed femininity back in my life, I needed to be selfish and do something for me.
‘But now I’m so proud of my body, I’m so happy with how it looks and that I can see all the hard work I had put into myself and my lifestyle over three years.’
Chantelle believes her diet during childhood led her to swell to such a large size, when she kept a locker full of chocolate, lollies, other sugary snacks and chips.
By the time she was walking down the aisle to marry husband Grant, 35, in 2014, she was wearing a dress size 30 and had a body mass index of 63.8 – the highest category for obesity.
It was only after consulting a doctor, following her falling asleep from the exhaustion of carrying her bodyweight that her she was told she would die if she didn’t lose weight.
It spurred Chantelle into action, getting a gastric sleeve in March 2015 as well as going to the gym up to five times a week and switching fast food for smoothies and shakes.
But after losing weight, the loose skin on her body left her battling mental and physical problems.
Chantelle said: ‘I was having severe medical issues with my skin, Rubbing and Chaffing. I was also prone to skin infections between the folds of my skin.
‘I was tucking skin in places I shouldn’t have been. I felt I couldn’t show my whole story or journey off and the skin was holding me back.’
She was left a changed woman following her surgery and now with a body she’s proud of – weighing 79kg and fitting a dress size 12.
She said: ‘To go from being so morbidly obese, hating yourself, eating your feelings because you have no control, are piling on the weight and blaming other people for it. I no longer wanted to wear the victim status.
‘I did what I did to myself and I had to rectify it, I did, I had some issues along the way with body confidence and self-esteem.
‘Going under the knife to remove some of the ‘cotton wool’ that was placed over my eyes and really showed me how much I’ve worked.
‘Now the skin is gone I feel free, there is no tucking, there are no excuses I can just get on the treadmill or go outside and run.
‘It’s almost like comparing a caged bird to being set free, I feel that I could take on anything now I have nothing holding me back.’