Weight loss: I lost 9st after being warned I’d have a heart attack at 30 but have been left with mountains of saggy skin

A 22 STONE supermarket worker who’d binge on a takeaway curry, six cinnamon buns, chocolate and sweets every night has shed 9st 7lbs – but been left with mountains of saggy skin.

Sophie McDonald ballooned to a size 26 while working at Tesco – and doctors warned her she risked developing diabetes or having a heart attack by the age of 30.

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Sophie McDonald lost 9 and a half stone – but has been left with 8lb of saggy skin[/caption]

The 27-year-old finally vowed to go on a diet after struggling to fit into a Rock n’ Roll fairground ride and do up her seatbelt on an airplane.

Out went her favourite sausage rolls, chicken tikka masala takeaways, and discounted pastries and cakes – totalling a whopping 4,000 calories a day.

Instead, Sophie devised her own DIY diet of porridge with banana and berries and homemade soup. 

She plummeted from 22st 9lbs to 13st 12lbs – going from a size 26 to a size 14 in two years – but was left with 8lb of saggy skin on her stomach and now needs an extreme tummy tuck. 

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Sophie went from a size 26 to a 14 in just two years[/caption]

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Sophie, from Poole, Dorset, said: “I was mortified when I realised I was too big for the fairground ride in Christchurch, Dorsetand.

“I’d already paid to go on and I was pushing down the safety bar across my stomach desperately trying to make it click into place, but it wouldn’t go.

“I was with a friend and everyone was staring at me as I was holding up the ride.

People used to comment on my size all the time. I’d hear comments like ‘look at the size of her’, but I’d learnt to ignore them

Sophie McDonald27

“It couldn’t start until everyone had their safety bars in place but my bar simply wouldn’t fit over my stomach.

“People used to comment on my size all the time. I’d hear comments like ‘look at the size of her’, but I’d learnt to ignore them. 

“When I got off the ride I didn’t cry but I was really embarrassed. I thought to myself ‘that’s it, the diet starts on Monday’, but I’d immediately fall off the wagon.”

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Sophie realised she had to lose weight after struggling to fit into a themepark ride and do up the seatbelt on a plane[/caption]

Sophie was spurred onto diet yet again when she went on a once in a lifetime trip to Florida with boyfriend Tony Parker, and struggled to do up her plane seatbelt.

Sophie, who’s 5ft 11ins, said: “It was so tight I didn’t think it would do up.

“I sucked in my stomach as much as I could and managed to do it up because I was too embarrassed to ask for a belt extension.

“But it dug into me throughout the whole eight-hour flight and left a mark.”

I was disgusted looking at myself. I begged my boyfriend to delete the photos as I was so ashamed.

Sophie McDonald27

Once in Florida, Sophie struggled with the heat and walking for more than five minutes, ruining their holiday at Universal Studios.

She said: “I was dripping with sweat all the time as I was so out of breath.

“I was so unfit we could only stand for rides where we would queue for half an hour maximum.”

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Sophie was so embarrassed about her body she wouldn’t let her boyfriend see her naked – even during sex[/caption]

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But she says the saggy skin is even worse – as it can only be fixed by surgery[/caption]

The couple also went swimming with exotic fish at Discovery Coast, a theme park in Florida, where staff struggled to find a life jacket big enough for Sophie. 

She said: “I was so embarrassed as there was a massive line of people behind me waiting to get their life jackets, but they didn’t have one that fit me.

“In the end they managed to find a size XXXXL for me. I was mortified. 

“After the holiday Tony, 27, showed me the photos he’d taken and I was disgusted looking at myself. I begged him to delete them as I was so ashamed.

“I was huge, had no neck and looked awful. That’s when I knew that I had to do something about my weight.”

I was convinced losing weight would boost my confidence and self-esteem, but instead I’ve got saggy skin instead, which is worse as I can’t do anything to get rid of it

Sophie McDonald27

Sophie’s weight massively affected her confidence, meaning she wouldn’t let Tony see her naked and insisted on wearing a nightie when they had sex.

She said: “I was too shy to let him see me naked.

“I’d always wear a nightie when we went to bed and when I came out of the shower I’d cover up with a towel. I wouldn’t want him to even catch a glimpse of me undressed.

“Tony would say I didn’t need to hide myself away or be embarrassed, but I thought that if I didn’t even want to look at myself naked then no-one else would either. 

“I hated the way I looked, I felt self-conscious all the time.

“I was convinced losing weight would boost my confidence and self-esteem, but instead I’ve got saggy skin instead, which is worse as I can’t do anything to get rid of it.”

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Sophie wears Spanx from her thighs up to her breasts[/caption]

Even though Sophie is now a size 14, she finds it impossible to shop for normal, fitted clothes due to her saggy skin and has to wear tight, control Spanx from her thighs to just below her breasts.

She said: “I have to tuck everything in when I walk otherwise it just sways from side to side.

“Being fat was difficult but having this much excess skin is just as bad – it has a huge mental impact on me.”

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She is now fundraising for private surgery[/caption]

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Sophie wants to get a ‘Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck’ – costing nearly £7,000[/caption]

Sophie started piling on the pounds aged 13, when she would throw away her packed lunches to buy cake, sweets, chocolate, burgers and hot dogs from the school canteen.

Then after her mum Madeleine died in 2011, at the age of 51 after a three-month battle with liver cancer, Sophie was made redundant from her shop assistant position.

She racked up a £5,000 debt helping dad, Gary, 58 pay bills – and buy food. 

If I do some exercises it sags and touches the floor, making me really self-conscious

Sophie McDonald27

Four months later, Sophie got a job as an assistant in Tesco. But tempted by the reduced items, the shop assistant started buying and eating all the cakes and pastries at the end of each shift.

By the age of 21, she was a size 26 and, even when her GP warned she was so obese she could have a heart attack, Sophie continued to stuff herself with sugary snacks.

It was only when she was shamed into admitting she was too big for a plane seatbelt, fairground ride and life vest that she finally made a change.

Sophie's diet – then & now


BREAKFAST: Four slices of white bread with butter and a tbsp of strawberry jam on each

LUNCH: Prepacked sandwich or pasta for two people, or two sausage rolls, crisps and chocolate

SNACKS: Giant bags of Haribo sweets and chocolate, pastries and cakes – usually six cinnamon buns a day or six iced buns 

DINNER: Chicken tikka masala takeaway with a whole tray of rice and two poppadoms

DESSERT: Whole bar of Dairy milk chocolate or a pack of sweets


BREAKFAST: Porridge with mashed banana, blueberries and coconut

LUNCH: Homemade leek and potato soup with two slices of gluten free bread and low fat cheese

SNACKS: Popcorn or low-fat yoghurts

DINNER: Stir fry with pak choi, beansprouts, carrots, spring onion, broccoli and chicken or homemade burgers with lean mince

DESSERT: One square of chocolate or yoghurt and fruit

Instead of her usual four slices of white toast with butter and strawberry jam for breakfast, Sophie now has porridge with fruit.

Lunch is now grilled fish and sweet potatoes while for dinner Sophie will cook a healthy chicken stir fry or a homemade burger with five percent fat mince.

She has finally managed to curb her cravings for sweets and chocolate and has kicked her one-bag-a-day Haribo habit.

But she now needs a £6,888 Fleur-de-lis shaped tummy tuck, at the BMI The Harbour Hospital in Poole, to remove her saggy skin.

A more extreme version than a usual tummy tuck, the fleur-De-Lis removes more excess skin, tightens the stomach muscles together and will leave Sophie with a ‘T’ shaped scar across her stomach.

Sophie says the tummy tuck would be ‘life-changing’

“I’ve tried everything to get rid of my saggy stomach,” she said.

“I can’t go running because it starts flapping against my legs and is really painful.

“If I do some exercises it sags and touches the floor, making me really self-conscious.

“Surgery is the only way I’m going to be able to get rid of my saggy skin for good.

“I can’t wear trousers as my stomach rolls over the top, so I have to wear loose jumpsuits or skirts to hide it.

“Having the tummy tuck would be life changing and would help boost my confidence massively.”

She is trying to raise the money for her surgery at the private hospital.

Sophie wants to have two kids in in the future, but admits that the thought of being left with saggy skin after pregnancy does worry her.

She said: “Doctors have said that I may need another tummy tuck after having children as my stomach probably wouldn’t go flat after and I’d be left with saggy skin.

“I thought about waiting until after I’d had babies to have the extreme tummy tuck, but having it now will give me a new lease of life and I’ll be able to do all the things that my skin has stopped me from doing, like go running and shop for normal, fitted clothes.

“I haven’t been on a plane since coming back from Florida four years ago.

“Tony and I would like to go back after my surgery to celebrate and swim with the fish at Discovery Coast – and this time I’ll fit in the plane seat and won’t need a size XXXXL life jacket.”

You can donate to Sophie’s fund here.

We previously spoke to a mum who lost 13 stone but hasen’t had sex in two years since an ex mocked her ‘saggy 32C granny boobs’ which shrunk from 42F.


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