‘I was kicked off a children’s ride for being too overweight – now I’ve lost 10st all while being pregnant,’ says mum, 36

At her heaviest, she weighed 21st – now she weighs 10st…
Tannice with her child on a ride with yellow barriers and a house behind painted
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A mum-of-three has shared her weight loss journey after dealing with a lifetime of eating disorders – and has now lost 10st despite being pregnant.

Tannice Hemming, 36, a writer from Maidstone, Kent, used to suffer with binge eating, self-sabotage and an overall loss of identity as a result of trauma experienced during her teens.

In a bid to find solace, she turned to food and often ate chocolate, cakes and ice cream while sitting alone in her room as she “struggled” to eat around others.

Tannice in a grey top and flower trousers taking a selfie in the mirror
At her heaviest, she weighed 21st (Picture: Jam Press)

She recalls becoming dependent on food, where she soon started “packing on the weight” and by the time she was 19, she weighed 21st.

Tannice started experiencing health issues, such as a lack of energy, joints hurting whenever she walked and her thoughts became controlled by food.

In public, she’d receive hurtful comments such as: “Your legs are like tree trunks” or “You’d be so pretty if you lost some weight” – where she started to feel hopeless.

After becoming a mum, she realised that her health was at risk and that she might not be around to see her children grow up if she continued her habits.

Soon, her fears were confirmed as she suffered a blood clot during her second pregnancy.

“I started forming blood clots in my lungs, where I became incredibly ill and had to stay on a high-dependency unit for 10 days,” Tannice told NeedToKnow.online.

“I almost died and since then, I was terrified about ending up with more health problems and leaving my family behind.

“After my [teen] trauma, I used food like people use drink – except food was always there and I didn’t have to be a certain age to buy it.

“I was working in a supermarket and had easy access, so I would stash up on sweet treats and go into my room and stuff myself.

“I turned to Cadbury’s chocolate the most, as the purple packaging was like a ‘friend’ to me and gave me comfort.

“I’d easily buy a six pack and eat this in one go, but I also once bought a cake and ate the entire thing in a day-and-a-half.

“I had a pretty healthy diet otherwise, as my mum would make sure I had a nutritious meal of typically meat and vegetables for dinner.

“Soon, the weight became hard to ignore, as well as my difference in attitude, and we argued about my habits.”

Tannice recalls finding stashes of empty chocolate bar packets being laid out on her bed, which were found and presented by her mum.

Tannice, her husband and three kids in skeleton outfits in a field
The mum-of-three would stash away chocolate bars and eat them alone in her room (Picture: Jam Press)

As her mum was concerned about her rapid weight gain, they tried to have conversations – but these ended up in disagreements as she was too ashamed to speak.

Each time a “horrible” feeling popped into her head, she would binge – and the vicious cycle continued.

She said: “I would focus on food to help, but this soon became a problem of its own and I struggled to manage it.

“Eventually, I became the ‘fat’ one in my group and I found it difficult to fit into society as I wasn’t sure of my identity.

“Usually, ‘fat’ people take on being ‘bubbly’ or ‘invisible’ – but I was neither, so I medicated with more food to block out the thoughts.

“I started growing out of the clothes I loved and had to replace my wardrobe with bigger clothes that would fit.”

In August 2012, she met her husband, Jacques, 36 and in January the following year, they matched on OkCupid.

As the two decided start a family together, they were pleased to find out they were having a baby girl, Sienna, six, who was born in February 2016.

However, upon multiple consultations with the obstetrician, Tannice claims that she was subjected to discrimination due to her weight.

She said: “I remember [the obstetrician] telling me all the risks of being pregnant and fat, which was the same at every appointment.

“I felt horrible, as I was only being told about the terrible outcomes.

“It was the worst birthing experience as I felt discriminated against for being heavy throughout the entire thing.”

Upon reaching her “tether” with it all, she tried to seek help from different clinics – but claims she was turned away from every single one and received no help as a result.

As she wanted to release the “tyranny of binge eating” that was controlling her every thought, she decided to book herself in for gastric bypass surgery.

Tannice said: “I had no energy, couldn’t be bothered to take my kids out and hated seeing myself in the mirror.

“I wanted to be treated better by society, healthier and there for my kids as they grow.

“I was having doubts prior to my surgery, but these were solved after we took a trip to Southend with the kids.

Tannice with her husband who is kissing her on the cheek as she smiles
Concerned about not being there for her kids, she decided to have weight loss surgery (Picture: Jam Press)

“I asked my daughter who she wanted to go on the ghost ride with and she chose me – so we hopped on board.

“However, the ride attendant struggled to put the barrier down and asked us to get off the ride because of this.

“I understood, as this was for our safety – but I could see the people queuing and looking at me, although no-one made a fuss.

“I felt this was the ‘cherry on top’ as it cemented my decision to have the surgery, just as I was about to embark on my pre-diet.”

In April 2019, she flew to Turkey and received the “life-changing” surgery – costing £3,000 in total.

Initially, she couldn’t see the changes, but she soon started to have an aversion to the food she once loved and now says she hates cakes and ice cream.

She said: “I can’t eat a Mr Whippy or cakes as they taste vile to me and I still have chocolate left over from Easter.

“I love marmite now and will only eat three meals a day with limited grazing.

“A few months later, I was running around and had the ability to feel free with how much I exercised.

“I felt the biggest change psychologically, as my confidence was boosted with each stone that shed every month.

“I was able to express myself in the clothes I wanted to wear and now, I wear colourful outfits instead of black.

“I fell pregnant with my third child five months after having surgery, which isn’t recommended.

“However, I looked into it and made a decision based off my personal attributes and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, with no complications.

“During my check ups, I was told that I finally reached my ultimate goal – to have a healthy BMI.

“I reached this by the time he was born and I couldn’t have felt happier.”

Overall, she’s lost 10st and now wears a dress size eight and sometimes has to downsize for a four.

Before, she would eat a few slices of toast for breakfast, a chicken wrap, Dr Pepper, chocolate orange and crisps for lunch, along with a curry for dinner.

For snacks, she’d have a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a six pack of chocolate mousses and ready made crepes.

Now, she’ll have a one egg omelette for breakfast, a protein Ryvita with marmite and goats cheese for lunch and a small portion of chicken, vegetables and half a boiled potato for dinner.

She believes that having the surgery has “saved her life” as she is now able to enjoy living, without having food hinder her every move.

Tannice added: “I don’t think about food anymore, but I do still think of myself as the ‘fat’ person.

Tannice in a bikini with fruit on at the beach
Now, her diet has changed entirely and says she hates sweet foods (Picture: Jam Press)

“I don’t think this thought will go away for a long time as I’ve spent my whole life being ‘fat.’

“I’ve seen the ‘privilege’ that comes now with being slimmer, as people don’t stare at me when I buy something sweet in the shops.

“I’m able to walk more as I don’t get so tired and recently, I’ve walked five miles without even realising it.

“I’m currently pregnant with twins and I’ve got to eat more as I need to put weight on now.

“I have to eat calorific foods which I’m not enjoying and it’s difficult seeing the scales go up.

“However, my life doesn’t even consider eating as a main factor anymore and to those looking into having surgery, do it – it’ll be worth a lifetime of happiness.”

DIET BREAKDOWN

BEFORE:
Breakfast: Couple slices of toast or cereal
Lunch: Chicken ceaser wrap, Dr Pepper, chocolate orange and crisps
Dinner: Curry
Snack: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream tub, 6 pack chocolate mousse, ready made hazelnut crepes

NOW:
Breakfast: One egg omelette
Lunch: Protein Ryvita with marmite and goats cheese or avocado
Dinner: Small portion of chicken, vegetables and a half boiled potato
Snack: Cocktail sausages

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