Mother-of-four who used to eat 17,000 calories a DAY is now a third of the woman she was after losing over 60 per cent of her body weight and dropping 12 dress sizes
13:48 GMT, 2 November 2012
A woman who ballooned to 26 stone after gorging on 17,000 calories a day has lost 60 per cent of her body weight after she cut out sweet treats which included breakfast cereal drenched in cream.
Depressed Philippa Popham of Stroud piled on the weight after her mother died in 1996 and gorged on a sickly diet of toast, cakes and chocolate.
At her heaviest she wore a dress size 36, was unable to walk properly and was pointed out and laughed at in the street.
Philippa Popham ballooned to a size 36 on a daily diet of 17,000 calories but is now a size 12 after following a strict diet and exercise regime
But Philippa turned her life around with a strict diet and exercise regime which started with her walking around her home village in the dark so no one would see her.
Philippa, 49, now weighs a trim 11 stone and is a size 12 after two years of regular swimming and walking every day.
She lost so much weight on her fitness and eating plan that Philippa had to undergo an operation to remove 1.5 stones of excess skin, a unique ten hour operation performed by a team of surgeons at the Spire Bristol Hospital.
At her heaviest Philipa could only walk very short distances but she began to go on nightly walks around her village in the dark so no one
would see her
Having now fully recovered from the full body skin lift Philippa said: 'Not being able to walk was awful. I could only manage short distances.
was eating huge portions and didn't want to go out anywhere. I was like
a freak show. I used to get looks from everybody I passed.
'I started with just a walk round the block in the dark when no-one could see me, and that was as much as I could do.
'I joined a local hotel spa pool, which was small and very close to me and more private so the emotional ordeal of going was less.
'I swam six days a week nearly every week, slowly increasing what I could do until at last, I was able to also start to walk a little too.'
Philippa and a friend pictured in Cornwall in 2006 when Philiippa was at her heaviest
Mother-of-four Philippa first found solace in food after being bullied at school.
She was a size 18 and pupils used to call her 'Philippa Farrell (her maiden name), Fat as a Barrel'.
The when her mother died from breast cancer she began bingeing on food at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After waking she would tuck into a large, full bowl of cereal, topped with milk and calorific cream.
Following that she ate four slices of toast with lashings of butter and smothered in either Bovril or jam and honey.
between breakfast and lunch Philippa munched on
packets of crisps, chocolate bars, flapjacks, half a pack of biscuits –
and more cake.
Lunch consisted of a sandwich crammed full of ham, cheese, mayonnaise and anything else she could get her hands on.
For dinner she ate meat, vegetable and
potato dishes on huge plates. She also enjoyed chicken kievs,
sausages, pies and pasta and sauce, again in giant portion sizes.
Philippa's GP warned her that she was
morbidly obese and advised her to have a gastric band fitted but she
had the band removed in January 2011 and decided to adhere to a strict
1,000 calorie a day diet and exercise after dark so she wouldn't be
The weight soon
started to fall away and Philippa took up swimming and Zumba, but after
losing 15 stone was left with embarrassing excess skin.
Philippa's 17,000 calorie daily diet included breakfast cereal covered in cream and huge portion sizes at every meal
In August she underwent the operation at the Spire Hospital in Bristol, the only hospital in Britain which was prepared to carry out the 'full body lift' to removal of all her excess flab.
Yesterday Philippa wept tears of joy with daughter Eleanor, 23, when she managed to pull on a smart pair of size 12 trousers.
She added: 'It has taken me two and half years to get to this point and I feel I am now at the weight I want to be.
'Getting to a size 14 was amazing. That was beyond my wildest dreams. So putting the size 12 trousers on was out of this world.'
Surgeon Rob Warr, from the Spire Hospital Bristol, said: “Certainly this was the largest skin excess that we have removed. It was the combination of four procedures in one operation – something that is extremely unusual.
'The skin and fat was cut away using an electronic scalpel which cauterises as it goes.'
Philippa, who lost over 60 per cent of her body weight, is pictured holding one of her old size 36 shirts
The mother-of-four was delighted to be able to finally fit in to a size 12 pair of jeans this week