A mum who would tuck rolls of skin into her knickers and says she was “in a rut” before losing nine stone is almost unrecognisable after a tummy tuck.
Laura Sands-Dadd, 30, had struggled with her weight since aged 10 – and reached her heaviest in 2016, following her daughter’s birth.
She weighed 21st and 8lbs and her addiction to food landed her in a “rut”, with her saying she “didn’t want to leave the house”.
The then 25-year-old made a dramatic life change after meeting with her doctor.
Laura said: “My doctor said, ‘if you don’t do something about your weight, you won’t reach the age of 30 – you will die.’ It was pretty plain. I needed to do something, or I wouldn’t see my children grow up.
“He wanted to refer me for weight loss surgery – a gastric band or bypass – and I said no. I said no immediately. I was determined to lose the weight myself, and something just clicked in my head.”
Laura, who struggled with depression before beginning her weight loss journey, noticed her confidence increase with every pound lost.
She rediscovered a part of herself when studying her social care degree at Grimsby Institute – and made new friends along the way.
“Uni changed me. I wasn’t just ‘Mum’. It was about being Laura again,” she said.
But despite the weight loss, Laura wasn’t completely happy with her body, as she ended up with excess skin.
She added: “No matter how hard you exercise, you can’t do anything about excess skin.
“I trained from day dot and ate healthily. No one says you’ll be left with loads of skin that’s never going anywhere.
“Yes, it was great because my health was better and my mental health was better, but I was left with this massive scar, always there and always reminding me that I used to be.”
Laura would tuck her skin into her clothing as a way to disguise it – but this just caused her even more pain.
She said: “I used to lay on my bed and wish I could take a pair of scissors to my skin and cut it all off.
“I used to pull it and pummel it and lay in different positions to imagine what it’d be like without it.
“I had to tuck my skin in all the time, and it would get so sore. That’s another thing people don’t talk about – the pain. Underneath my apron, it used to itch and itch and itch, especially around my caesarean scar.”
Laura had always thought about a tummy tuck, but she thought the cost of having it done privately was beyond her reach.
Laura’s Fleur De Lys surgery took place on November 28 last year, just 11 weeks after her first consultation and 12 days after her 30th birthday.
She had 4.237kg of skin, tissue and fat removed, which is about as heavy as a fully-grown cat.
“I woke up and the first thing I said was, ‘has it gone?’ The nurse replied, ‘yes, and you’ve got the perfect hour-glass figure.’ I was choked up with emotion. It felt like a dream – I never thought it would happen to me,” she said.
After a two-night stay – with no visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic – the ‘scar’ which blighted Laura’s life was gone.