Three slimmers have stripped off to discuss the reality of living with excess skin in a series of brutally honest confessions.
Speaking on BBC’s The Naked Truth, two women and a man, each of whom has lost a significant amount of weight, stripped off to speak about their weight loss journeys and how they have come to terms with their changing bodies.
Steph, who did not give her full name, shed over 8 stone through diet and exercise alone, but an unpleasant side effect is that her tummy is often ‘black with bruises’ from accidentally kicking it during exercise.
While Rowan fears his appearance will have a detrimental impact on his love life – because he ‘looks like Winnie the Pooh’ underneath his clothing.
Each episode in the new four-part series will focus on a different topic related to body image, from loose skin to tattoos and limb difference.
Here, the three brave slimmers share their stories.
Steph, pictured, has tried to make light of her appearance by nicknaming her loose skin ‘blubber’ – but her happy-go-lucky disposition belies her true feelings about her body
After years of being poked and prodded by curious children, Steph has tried to make light of her ‘blubber’ – but her happy-go-lucky disposition belies her true feelings about her body.
‘My arm has to be folded up to get it into clothes. I am embarrassed, I hate it,’ admits Steph, who was 24 stone 9 lbs at her heaviest.
Her ‘lightbulb moment’ came when she saw an unflattering photograph on Facebook and ‘didn’t recognise the person looking back’.
‘You kind of bury your head into the sand and you stop caring about yourself,’ she said. ‘For me it was a big wakeup call.’
Steph, who did not give her full name, shed over 8 stone through diet and exercise alone, but an unpleasant side effect is that her tummy is often ‘black with bruises’ from exercise
After that, she dropped 8 stone in the space of two years through diet and exercise alone, getting down to 12 stone 5lbs.
But there are still physical struggles to overcome: ‘I do exercise to help build up muscle, but the more I build up, the saggier this becomes.
‘If I’m in the gym and I sit on a bike, I’m just kicking this “apron” out the way. I can’t feel it. And then when I’m in the shower and I’m getting ready, I’ll see in the mirror that my tummy’s completely black with bruises.’
Katrina, pictured, had gastric sleeve surgery to remove 80 per cent of her stomach and slimmed down to 10 stone, although it took a while to adjust to her loose skin
Katrina has finally come to terms with her ‘bingo wings’ and ‘saddle backs’.
‘I used to find clever ways to kind of cover up [but] I’ve got to the point where I don’t care what anyone else thinks,’ says Katrina, who has struggled with her weight since childhood.
She reached her heaviest after having her first child, and at the time she would eat McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner – reaching more than 22 stone.
Her turning point came when her three-year-old son ran out into the road, and because of her weight she physically wasn’t able to catch up with him, and pull him from danger; luckily there were no cars, but it marked a turning point for Katrina.
She had gastric sleeve surgery to remove 80 per cent of her stomach and slimmed down to 10 stone, although it took a while to adjust to her loose skin which she would initially cover up with boleros.
‘Eventually I just decided that I’m not going to do that anymore,’ she says. ‘I’ll wear short sleeved tops, I’ll wear spaghetti straps, dresses, I’ve bought a bikini.
‘I’d been trying to lose weight for 30 years. I’ve accepted that’s the way that I look and that actually I’d earned that loose skin for a healthy body.
‘My body tells a story about motherhood and about my weight struggles. I feel very pleased.’
Rowan, pictured, confesses being left with folds of excess skin felt like ‘a bit of a kick in the teeth’ after losing so much weight without surgery
Gorging on junk food as a teenager saw Rowan’s weight soar to 21 stone at its peak, comparing himself to Roald Dahl character Augustus Gloop.
Now, despite getting down to 12 stone, he fears the impact his excess skin could have on his love life.
Each episode in BBC’s new four-part series, Naked Truth, will focus on a different topic related to body image, from loose skin to tattoos and limb difference
‘If I meet a nice lady, and I want to take her home and get the kit off, I just look like Winnie the Pooh,’ he explained.
Being left with folds of excess skin felt like ‘a bit of a kick in the teeth’ after losing so much weight without surgery, Rowan confesses.
‘You have issues when you have to take off your top. I hope that becomes an endearing feature the older I get.’
The Naked Truth (BBC Three) will be available on iPlayer as a 4-part box set and YouTube from 10am on 10 January