23 November 2007
'Too blobby to be a bride' Samantha couldn't wait to marry her fianc�, but there was one thing stopping her - her jelly belly... Taking a deep breath, I twirled my body from side to side. Huffing and puffing, I glared intently at my reflection in the full-length mirror. Letting out a deep sign, my tummy flopped back out. "It's no use," I screamed in frustration. It didn't matter how much I tried to suck it in - my jelly belly was massive. "I'm going to look like a fat whale, not a beautiful bride." I sneered to myself in disgust. My boyfriend, Colin James, had popped the question just a few days before. I should have been overjoyed, but the thought of fitting my size-18 frame into a pretty wedding dress was making me jittery, not excited. Mummy tummy Before having my kids - Ashley, 17, Ben, 15, Brogan, 13, and 11-year-old Jess - I'd been a slim and sexy size six, perfect for my 5ft 3in height. But with each of my four pregnancies, I'd ballooned. I was now 13st - I'd never got around to shifting my mummy tummy. "I hate it. It's hideous," I moaned, prodding the lifeless, wobbly flesh, which resembled a big, bulging, stretch-marked sack of skin. "You're lovely," Colin, 38, said, grabbing my hips and planting a soft kiss on my neck. I'd met Colin, a machine operator, through my brother-in-law, Andy. We'd been together for just over a year. He didn't seem to care about my jelly belly-but I did. Whenever we went to bed, I'd make sure the lights were off. I'd be there, quivering under the sheets, too embarrassed to expose my big stomach. "You're so beautiful," Colin cooed, holding me close. I felt anything but, and our sex life was starting to suffer. I was too shy to flaunt my curves in slinky underwear, so I hid them beneath granny knickers and frumpy bras. "I can't wear these on my wedding night," I thought, pinging my unattractive beige pants. A wobbly mess I just want to be a confident, sexy wife for my husband-to-be. Not a fat, wobbly mess. I'd spent the last seven years dieting, and I'd managed to lose a stone by eating healthily and swimming. But I was still flabby. I was under no illusion I'd ever be a slim size six again. I just wanted to chop off my belly. "I need surgery," I said grabbing my work blouse and covering up my hateful stomach. But I'd already begged my doctor for a tummy tuck, and he'd refused. "Your belly isn't bad enough," he said. "What?" I spluttered. "It's an ugly pouch of flesh." But no matter how much I pleaded, he still refused. I was gutted and realised my only option was to have the op done privately. But there was no way I could afford to pay for it. Raising four kids on my assistant manager's wage wouldn't stretch to surgery - especially now we had a wedding to pay for. "I tell you what," Colin said, as I buttoned up my baggy blouse. "Why don't I sell my place and buy you a new belly?" Loving gesture I couldn't believe it. "Really?" I asked, kissing him. Colin was planning to sell his house to move in with me after the wedding, anyway, but now he was offering to use some of the profits to pay for my op. "Are you sure?" I said. It was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me. "Well if it stops you going on about your tummy, it'll be worth every penny," Colin smiled. So I went for a consultation. My cheeks burned as I stood semi-naked in front of the surgeon. "Oh, yes, that defiantly needs doing," he assured me, examining my belly. "You'll need liposuction and then a tummy tuck," he added. But the smile on my face was soon wiped away when he told us it would cost almost �8,000. "How much?" I asked, sheepishly looking at Colin. I felt so guilty. "It's OK," he said, grabbing hold of my hand. "You're worth it." He was so kind. "I'll pay you back," I promise. Goodbye, jelly belly I wasn't sure how, but right now all I could think about was having my jelly belly removed. As I booked myself in for my op, my mind started to wonder to my big day. "Goodbye and good riddance," I though, staring down at my baggy bump. I was determined to look great for my wedding. I was going to make Colin really proud of me. Samantha's fianc� sold his house to buy her a flat tummy for their wedding day... The glint of the bright light slowly faded as my eyelids gently drooped. "Goodbye blobby," I thought. "I'll be slim when I wake up." It was just eight weeks before my wedding day, and I was having my jelly belly sliced off so I could fit into my dream dress. During a four hour operation, my surgeon made a small incision just above my bikini line, before sucking out all the excess fat using liposuction. Under the knife Afterwards, he cut away the loose layers of skin that once encased my fat, and then repositioned my belly button and tightened up my tummy muscles. When I came round, my fianc�, Colin, and my sister, Becky, were sitting beside my hospital bed. "Has it gone?" I asked groggily. "Can you have a look for me?" Becky lifted up the sheet. "Your tummy is completely flat," she said. Then I drifted back to sleep until the following morning when Colin returned to collect me. "How are you feeling?" he asked. I forced a smile. Underneath my mound of bandages, my newly tucked tummy throbbed with pain. As I carefully heaved myself off the bed, it felt so tight. Every step hurt as I inched along the corridor. Back home, my kids and Colin rallied round. "I could get used to this," I joked, as they cooked dinner. "I wonder if my tummy will be flat when the bandages come off?" I thought, as I lay in bed. Already my size-18 clothes were too big around the middle. Drum-tight tummy A few weeks later, the pain had disappeared, and I was back at the clinic in Manchester. As the nurse peeled away the bandages, I gasped in surprise at the slimmer me. Although it was still swollen, my fleshy, saggy stomach had gone. "It's amazing," I screamed, stroking my drum-tight tummy. I had a scar from hip to hip, but the nurse reassured me it would fade in time. The next day, I hit the shops with Mum and Becky. For the first time in years, I felt confident. "Right," I said. "Let's find the wedding dress of my dreams." Soon, I saw an ivory two-piece that melted my heart. "What size are you?" an assistant asked. I paused. "I'm not sure," I said. I'd always been a size 18, but now my tummy was flat, I wasn't sure. "Try this," she said, handing me a size-14 skirt. I zipped it up over my hips, and was shocked when it felt loose. "I think you need a 12," she said. A 12! At last I was slim. I'd dropped three dress sizes. Once my top half was snuggled into a size-16 corset, I stepped back and admired my new reflection. "You look stunning, love" Mum said, trying hard not to cry. My tummy looked so flat. "I'm not even breathing in," I cried. As we left the shop, I spotted a lingerie shop. "Hang on, please," I winked. "I need something else." Now I had a slim line stomach, I was determined to ditch my granny undies for sexy ones. I wanted to surprise Colin on our wedding night. "This will pay him back," I giggled to myself, as I chose a lacy red number. Slim and sexy Back home, I skipped into the house. "Someone looks pleased," Colin said. I smiled. "I've just bought my wedding dress," I said. "So what's that?" he asked, pointing at the plastic bag containing my new undies. "A present for you," I teased, dashing upstairs. On our wedding day, I felt so good. And Colin burst into tears as I glided down the aisle towards him. "You look so beautiful," he stuttered through his tears. I felt fantastic. And we had a wedding night to remember, too. Buying me a new tummy for our wedding day was the best present Colin could have given me. And he got a slim and sexy wife into the bargain. Read more about liposuction, tummy tuck procedures and our cosmetic surgery guide. 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