top of page
new life old life street signs
Slim Mel in Crete
Mel after weight loss
Obese Mel at birthday party The Ivy London
Mel image before surgery
My Weight Loss Journey: Welcome
My Weight Loss Journey: Text

SO, WHO AM I?

Good question.....

THE NAME'S HARRIS ..... MEL HARRIS
(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

I am the founder of LWB, a successful actor and screenwriter, mother of the most adorable Lhasa Apso called Kobe, proud aunt to two extraordinary nephews, godmother to 3 wonderful godchildren and above all, I am a normal, down to earth person just like you.

Mel in Cyprus

Over the years I tried every single diet or fad I ever heard about, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

 

Slimming pills, laxatives, food replacements, chocolate bar diets, the grapefruit diet, cabbage soup diet, you name it, I tried it.  I even tried to stop eating altogether.

 

Very often, especially with the more extreme (often dangerous) regimes, I would lose up to 3 stone, but it wasn’t sustainable, it was too slow, it was never enough and I made myself ill, but the worst thing, in my mind, was that it made no difference to my appearance or how I felt, so the weight always went back on, plus more.

In 2004 I topped the scales at just 2lb under 25 stone, that’s 348lbs or 157.85kgs. 

I was wearing a UK size 30 (US size 26 or 3XXXL). 

I’m only 5’2”!

I am only 5'2"
at my heaviest
I was 2lbs shy of 25 stone
(348lbs & 157.85kgs) 
and wearing a size 30
(US size 26 or XXXL)

I could barely walk and talk
at the same time

Since  surgery I have lost a whopping

13 stone and 9 pounds.

Most importantly -  I have kept that weight off for almost 20 years

Bariatric Surgery is NOT an easy option - ​It is by far the most difficult route to weight loss you will ever have tried

And yes....... ​ regardless of what surgery you undergo,
there is a very big risk that you could
 REGAIN WEIGHT !

HOWEVER, DON'T WORRY

Bariatric surgery is the very best tool currently out there to help you lose weight​ and​ Living With Bariatrics "Warts & All", is here to assist you treat your 'surgical tool', as your best friend rather than your arch nemesis and thereby​, enable you to achieve your goal and live your best life.

NOT JUST FOR NOW BUT FOREVER
The pain of obesity shows in the eyes
The affects of obesity on my life 
I have struggled with my weight since puberty, and it has affected every aspect of my life every single day.

My physical health was suffering

I contracted polycystic ovarian disease, resulting in significant facial and body hair

I didn't get my first period until I was 19 and it was always exceptionally sporadic.  Sometimes I might only get a period

once, maybe twice a year

I AM INFERTILE !

My thighs rubbed together so badly that my skin was rubbed raw, blistered and bleeding

My back felt like it was giving way

My knees also felt like they were giving way under the strain

I literally couldn't walk and talk at the same time

I had absolutely no energy

And let's not mention the excessive sweating

I suffered with chronic depression for which I was hospitalised for 5 months and continued as an outpatient and on medication for many years

 

My self esteem and confidence hit the very bottom of the scale

 

I became a big time people pleaser hoping that 'someone' would like me.  I gave people money, (even when I didn't have it) and had music set up to play their favourite music to try and impress

 

I developed a persona of fun and outgoing and more importantly EASY going so I didn't upset anyone - ever

 

I lost my own sense of identity.  I had no idea who I really was, I didn't even know what kind of music I liked anymore

 

I suffered with imposter syndrome and was in constant fear of being revealed as a fraud and failure

 

I struggled to socialise, meet new people or realise my full potential

 

My mental health was suffering

Life can be so cruel...

I was subjected to so much abuse from complete strangers. Laughing, pointing, whispering and calling out awful, insulting and supremely hurtful things as they passed me in their cars

I faced prejudice in the workplace and at social events

I was even turned away from a night club for not being the 'type of clientele' they wished to attract!

Affect of Obesity
Pregnancy
My Catalyst

It was one sunny Sunday afternoon in July 2004 whilst attending a family BBQ at my brother's house.

And what was it ?............. simple !    A sunny Sunday BBQ and MY NEPHEWS 

 

You see, I was born to be a mother!

 

From a very young age I absolutely loved kids.  At school I chose to do a 'Child Development' course which meant I spent one afternoon a week working at a local nursery school and I absolutely loved it and that was when I decided that my life was going to be all about children and so my 'teenage me' planned to have two children of my own, then adopt a child and finally foster as many children as possible.

 

So finding out, at the age of 22 that I was infertile, had an absolutely devastating effect on me.

Imagine how blessed I felt when my nephews came along and my brother and sister in law allowed me to be as hands on with their babies as I wanted.  I got to do loads of 'mother' things with them from day one.  I changed nappies, I cleaned up sick, I fed them, I bathed them, had days out, sleep overs, the works.  I quickly became 'Mad Aunty Melly' and they instantly became my 'raison d'etre'.

All good so far......
Then came the day of the
BBQ.
  It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in July 2003, I was attending a family bbq at my brother's house.

Back then my youngest nephew was not yet 3 and the oldest was just about to turn 5 and all they wanted to do, from the moment I arrived, was play with their 'Aunty Melly'.  Like all kids of that age they wanted me to chase them, play football with them, go on the trampoline and generally rough and tumble.  

But I couldn't do it

Amongst other things, my back was giving way, my knees were giving way, I had severe skin chafing, and I could barely walk and talk at the same time.

 

I looked over at my mother who was also severely obese and had so many health issues that she was registered disabled, in a wheelchair with swollen blistering legs and I clearly saw my future.

I had way outstayed
my welcome
at the last chance saloon!

Over the years I had tried absolutely everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, in an effort to lose weight and keep it off.....

Without success!

Not being able to play with my nephews left me totally heartbroken and devastated, BUT, it empowered me to acknowledge that I could no longer fight this fight alone.

 

I realised,  I needed help, and that there is no shame in asking for that help.

Even a top accountant needs a calculator and a team of people to do his job effectively.  And just like them I needed help to do the most important job of all....

LOOK   AFTER   ME !

I took a deep breath and finally asked for help.
The very next day I drove 60 miles north
to purchase a heavy duty treadmill and bike designed for professional gyms, so they could cope with the pounding under my  weight and, 
I booked an appointment with a bariatric surgeon
If you would like any help or information on the mentoring plans please click below

I AM AND ALWAYS WILL BE A 'WORK IN PROGRESS'

 

Would I like to lose more weight?  YES!

Do I still struggle to maintain my weight?  YES!

I am and always will be a 'work in progress' however, I have now managed to keep control of my weight, I no longer drive myself mad over it and I am in a position where I can use my many experiences to help and motivate others going through the same thing.

 

Connecting with you is what precipitated the creation of Living With Bariatrics 'Warts & All' and ever since It's launch I have connected with hundreds of people.  

Some are still at the 'thinking about it' stage,

Some have already taken the plunge but face challenges

Some simply don't want to go down the surgery route

Either way.......

This site is for you.... 

All of you.

Why not come onboard?

My Catalyst
Remember this TV Ad ?

It won a number of awards and

created such a stir, that the Sunday Mirror

did an entire double page centre piece about me!

I remember during filming, that one of the executives at the advertising company, casually came over

for a 'chat' and a cuppa.  He asked me what I thought about the commercial and

I told him that "I  thought the advert was very funny, at the end of the day there are a lot of men that don't want to go home with the fat lady."

I backed up my view with,

"if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at"?

 

Even as I heard myself saying those words I  felt I was dying inside. 

The advert was pulled from our screens for receiving approx 200 complaints for being 'fattist'!

bottom of page