Mother who shed six stone after gastric band surgery stunned to discover it had broken… and weight loss was through EXERCISE
Karren Knight opts for 3,500 weight loss operationShocked to discover six stone weight loss was purely down to dancing after doctors reveal she was fitted with broken gastric band

A mother-of-two, who thought it was 'impossible' to lose weight on her own, has told how she lost six stone purely through exercise after, unbeknown to her, her gastric band snapped.

Karren Knight, 47, who tipped the scales at 22 stone, had spent years dieting and in a final attempt to conquer her weight problem saved up 3,500 for invasive surgery.

Following the operation, in which she had a gastric band fitted around her stomach to restrict her appetite, she took up dancing to distract her mind from binge eating and was delighted as she noticed her body slim down.

Karren Knight

Karren Knight

Karren Knight, 47, who tipped the scales at 22 stone (left) paid for weight loss surgery and shed six stone. But she was shocked to discover that it was all down to exercise, as her gastric band had been broken all along

But during a check-up two years later in 2008, doctors revealed that her gastric band was leaking and had never worked, meaning she’d lost all of the weight herself.

Karren, from Widnes, Cheshire, described that she was shocked by the news.

'I thought it was impossible for me to lose weight by myself – I’d
spent years going on diets and nothing worked.

'It was a vicious cycle, that I thought
could only be cured by surgery.

'I was moaning one day to my sister,
Paula, and she suggested I get a hobby to take my mind off food – and I
went along to a zumba class that had just started up down the road.

'The weight soon started to drop off – but I was convinced it was mostly because of the band.'

Karren (left), husband David (centre) and sister Paula (right) have all lost weight through zumba dancing

Karren (left), husband David (centre) and sister Paula (right) have all lost weight through zumba dancing

Nurses told Karen that the band, which was
supposed to be full of saline to shrink the stomach, was leaking –
and had never worked properly.

She was forced to return
to Belgium, where the operation originally took place, to have corrective surgery.

After having the band fixed, she managed to lose a further nine stone. Now 15 stone lighter, Karen has forged a
new career as a zumba instructor, teaching others the Latin dance -inspired fitness program that helped her shed the pounds.

I thought surgery was an easy way to
lose weight – but I’ve discovered all it took was a bit of determination

She now takes eight hour-long classes a week – as well as teaching a weekend class with her sister and weighs just nine stone.

Karren added: 'Zumba is more like a party – it doesn’t feel like exercise. I’ve now lost a total of 15 stone – and I’ve never felt better.

'I had always struggled with my
weight – when I was growing up, my mum cooked huge stodgy meals, and we
were always expected to clear our plates.

'As I got older, and had my children,
it was always an effort to keep the weight off, and I went from being
chubby to being massive.

'I thought surgery was an easy way to
lose weight – but I’ve discovered all it took was a bit of
determination and finding some exercise I enjoyed.'

Karen is now encouraging people to get active before resorting to weight loss surgery.

Karren Knight

Karren Knight

Transformation: After having her gastric band fixed, Karren managed to lose a further nine stone

She added: 'I’d advise anyone who is considering
weight loss surgery to really think twice about it. I didn’t realise
how dangerous it could be, and as it turns out, I didn’t really need it
to lose weight.

'I’m so happy now – not only do I
have the body of my dreams, I’m much fitter, happier and healthier, and I
have a great new career too. My confidence is through the roof.

'I just wish I’d realised what I needed to do before I had the surgery.'

And after witnessing Karren’s amazing
weight loss, the rest of her family have caught the zumba bug are are training to be instructors.

twin sister, Paula, has shed nine stone, her daughter, Tara, 25,
has danced away seven stone, while husband, David, 51, has lost
four inches off his waist.

According to the NHS most people with a gastric band fitted will lose half their excess body weight, and the risk of any sort of complication after surgery is around 1 in 10.