A woman who saw her weight creep up to 20st 5lbs looks unrecognisable after losing 9st 2lbs and having a £6K “mummy makeover”, including breast implants.
Ruth Geary, 37, from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire had seen her weight issues exacerbated when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in 2008.
The hormonal condition, which can cause facial hair growth, infertility and weight gain, meant Geary's waist expanded from size eight to a 10 and she was plagued by facial hair that impacted her self-esteem.
“I was devastated," she explains. "I already had such low self esteem and then I started to grow all these hairs and was getting bigger and bigger.
“I was getting spots and hairs on my face. I was almost growing a beard and had to shave my face every day.
“I thought I looked like a bear.”
But it was in 2014, after her youngest daughter, Mela, now eight, was born, that her weight really started to creep up.
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Geary’s wake-up call came in December 2019, when she thought she was dying from a heart attack after running upstairs and she decided to take drastic action.
“I’d been running upstairs with a washing basket with clean laundry to put away and when I got to the top, I felt hot, dizzy and as if my heart was falling out of my chest," she explains.
“I dropped the basket. I thought I was dying, I thought I was having a heart attack.
“Instantly, I thought of my kids and I felt like I was leaving them.
“It was over in minutes, but it felt like hours.
“Turns out, I was so overweight, I couldn’t catch my breath going up the stairs.”
Following her experience, Geary's doctor prescribed a drug she says prevents around a third of the fat from being absorbed and helps obese people to avoid gaining weight.
She also tackled her calorie consumption and cut out her regular chocolate treats.
Geary also stopped having her usual two sugars in cups of coffee and slashed her 4,000-a-day calorie consumption in half, focussing on portion control.
Committed to her new diet, by the end of 2020 she had lost two stone and wore a size 20, giving her the confidence to go for walks and bike rides with her neighbour.
To keep to her new fitness regime she even watched her favourite shows like Bridgerton on a treadmill, to make sure she was staying active.
“At Tesco, I’d park the furthest away I could, so I could get more steps in and I’d watch my favourite Netflix shows if I was on the treadmill," she explains.
Within two years Geary had dropped from 20st 5lb and a size 24 to just 11st 3lb and a size 10.
But she felt her body transformation wasn't quite complete and then went on to have breast reduction surgery and a tummy tuck in March this year at Irmet Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.
Her surgery included a Fleur De Lys (FDL) tummy tuck, which removes significant excess skin from the entire midsection, a breast uplift, implants and a reduction which took her breasts from a size 40F to a 36D.
Geary says she sold her mum’s caravan to fund the £6k 10-hour operations.
“My mum was so supportive as she knew how much this was affecting me, and she told me to sell her caravan so we could pay for the surgery,” she says.
“I had a mummy makeover – the term for having all of the different operations in one go.
“I was quite scared but excited and it all went brilliantly."
The mum-of-three now says she feels like a different woman.
“I feel more sexy and more confident," she explains. "I feel like I shouldn’t say that about myself.
“But I think I look younger and healthier.
“I’m proud of myself that I was able to do it and I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Her weight loss has also had an incredible effect on her confidence.
“I can buy nice clothes and even wear jeans with a t-shirt tucked in," she says.
“Before, I always wore the biggest and baggiest t-shirts and leggings, hiding away.
“Even looking at my breasts now, they are so much better – it’s just brilliant.
“I can’t stop looking at them. They look natural."
G can also wear size 10 jeans, which still feels “completely surreal,” after havingear 6lb of loose skin removed.
“Bra shopping was a nightmare before, as I’d either have to buy a bra that fit the big breast and the small cup would just be empty, or find one for the small one and the big one would spill over the top.
“Now I can buy bras that fit.”
It isn't just her self confidence which has improved, Geary says her relationship with her children, Emily, 17, Isobel, 11, and Mela, eight, has also benefitted.
“I can now go on the swing with them and fit in the seat,” she explains. "I can now go on the zip wire with them. I would never have entertained that at 20 stone. I can even jump on the trampoline with them now.
“I feel like I’m more present in their lives than ever before.”
Overall, Geary says losing weight has improved her life in every way.
"I would urge anyone in my position to take action, see their doctor and get all the help available to tackle their weight.
“The surgery was worth every penny as my mental and physical health could not be better.”
Geary's diet before (4,000 calories)
Breakfast – Four coffees with two sugars each
Lunch – McDonald's chips, coffee with two sugars, chocolate bars
Dinner – Takeaway curry or pizza, chips, bag of Haribos, bag of Doritos, jelly beans
Snack – Plain ready-salted crisps, chocolate raisins, biscuits, whole bar of chocolate
Geary's diet now (1,200 calories)
Breakfast – Coffee with one sugar, strawberry Slimfast shake
Lunch – Salad wrap
Dinner – Pasta with vegetables
Snack – Dark chocolate
Additional reporting PA Real Life.