A 27 stone teacher who ‘ate for nine’ when pregnant – before losing 16 stone and dropping 12 dress sizes – is now crowdfunding for a £10,000 operation to remove excess skin weighing two stone.
Wearing a size 34 at her heaviest, Sue Drummie, 38, of Bromley, Kent, once shed 10st, after a restaurant manager said she was too fat for her chair – only to put it all back on again.
The mother-of-three then gave up drinking, but found that instead of losing the pounds, her weight merely stabilised, so she finally decided in April 2019 to have gastric bypass surgery – helping her to slim down to a 10st 11lb size 10.
At her heaviest, Sue Drummie, 38, a teacher from Bromley, Kent, was 27 stone before she lost 16 stone and dropped 12 dress sizes. Pictured, Sue in 2011 before she losing weight (left) and proudly showing off her weight loss on holiday this summer (right)
In April 2019, Sue decided enough was enough and took the plunge to have gastric bypass surgery which helped her to slim down to a 10st 11lb and a healthy size 10. Pictured, Sue now after her dramatic weight loss
Since losing all the weight, Sue has been left with a lot of excess skin (pictured) which weighs around two stone and she is hoping to crowdfund enough money so that she can have a £10,000 operation to remove it
Now, not only do friends no longer recognise her, but Sue, whose husband Mike, 39, is an air conditioning engineer, even forgets that she has lost 16st 2lb, saying: ‘My body changed so quickly that I used to buy knickers, get them home and realise they could wrap around me five times.
‘I kept buying stuff and having to return it. It takes quite a while for your brain to catch up.
‘And now, when I see people out and about that I’ve not seen for a while – especially as we’re all wearing masks – they don’t recognise me.
‘I wave and see what they do. Quite often they will ignore me.
‘I just want to get rid of my excess skin now. I’m not bothered about being skinny, but I really want to have a fit-looking, muscular, strong body.
‘It’s about my confidence and self-esteem.’
The 38 year old said she still forgets she has lost so much weight and that people do not recognise her when they see her due to shedding 16st 2lb. Pictured, Sue on her wedding day
Sue said her problems started when she was 17 and fell pregnant with her son Dillon and she would ‘eat for nine’. Pictured, Sue with her husband Mike and two of their children Dillon, now 20, and Beau, 11
After years of feeling self conscious, Sue says she wants the surgery in order to boost her self-esteem and says she is not bothered about being skinny. Pictured, before the dramatic weight loss journey
Sporty when she was a young girl, Sue lived in Germany where her dad was stationed in the Army until she was 11, when her family returned to the UK.
Even at that age, she remembers gaining some weight, approaching puberty, and being bigger than her friends.
But it was when she fell pregnant at 17 with her son Dillon, now 20 – who has since been joined by Beau, 11, and Demi, 12 – that she started piling on the pounds.
‘I ate for nine people during the pregnancy and put on about eight stone. I went from 15 stone to 23,’ she said.
‘Then, after Dillon was born, I was a single parent focused on learning how to be a mum and was eating too much of things like pasta and cheap, quick meals.
‘I felt self-conscious and never thought I’d meet a partner, but when Dillon was 18 months old I met my husband.’
In contrast to how she used to look and feel, Sue is now confident enough to wear swimwear and flaunts her new figure. Pictured, Sue now after losing 16stone
When Sue approached puberty she said she remembers gaining weight more than her friends despite being sporty when she was growing up. Pictured, Sue before her gastric bypass (left) and Sue now enjoying her new body (right)
When she fell pregnant with her first son Dillon at the age of 17 she said she ‘ate for nine people’ and as a result put on about eight stone, going from 15 stone to 23. Pictured, Sue before her weightloss
As a young single mother, Sue said when Dillon was born she decided to focus on learning how to be a mother and was eating too much, including pasta and cheap, quick meals. Pictured, Sue with Dillon as a newborn baby
After finding love and feeling comfortable in her relationship, Sue started eating out more, as they socialised together and gradually got even bigger.
And when she fell pregnant twice in quick succession with Beau and Demi, her weight rocketed – making her too heavy for her bathroom scales.
‘I shot up to 27 stone,’ she said. ‘I didn’t have scales that even went that high, so I could have been even bigger.
‘I was a big drinker – wine was where most of the calories came from – and then snacking on crisps and chocolate when I was drinking.
‘My husband is an adrenaline junkie, so he would be with the kids climbing trees and being active, but I never joined them.
‘I convinced myself it was because I didn’t want to, but really it was because I couldn’t.
After gaining so much weight, Sue felt self-conscious and thought she would never meet a partner but luckily she met her husband when her son was 18 months old. Pictured, Sue at her heaviest before the weightloss journey
When she became comfortable with her partner, she began to eat more again when they met up and she started to get even bigger. Pictured, Sue in 2010 before she decided to lose the weight
When Sue fell pregnant with Beau and Demi just a short time apart her weight increased dramatically and she found she was too heavy for the bathroom scales. Pictured, Sue after her bypass surgery with her leftover excess skin
‘I avoided holidays altogether because I was too embarrassed to go on a plane – telling myself it was because we didn’t have any money, but really, I was worried I’d be too big for the seats.’
Despite her body mass index (BMI) – used to gauge a healthy weight – being 66.9 and well over the NHS recommended level of between 18.5 and 24.9, classing her as obese, Sue had no health problems.
Marrying Mike in 2011, she only managed to lose a stone for the wedding and pledged her troth in a size 34 pink dress.
Sue puts some of her weight gain down to how much she used to drink, claiming she was a ‘big wine drinker’ but after losing so much weight she was able to wear a bikini for the first time (left) this summer after her bypass surgery in April 2019. Pictured right, Sue’s excess skin
The mother of three (pictured before the weight loss) admits that her husband, an adrenaline junkiem used to ask her to be active with him and climb trees with their children but she never joined them because she was physically unable to
Embarrassed and her size, Sue avoided holidays altogether because she was worried about getting on a plane and being too big for the seats. Pictured, Sue blows a kiss to the camera before her impressive weight loss journey
She said: ‘I had my wedding dress made in China, and looking back I probably did feel self-conscious, but I don’t think I realised at the time.’
She was finally humiliated into taking action in 2012, after being publicly embarrassed in a restaurant with Mike.
‘The restaurant manager tried to change my seat, saying I was too fat for a normal chair,’ she said.
Sue’s diet before
Toast and Marmite, crumpets or big bowl of cereal.
Big bowl of pasta salad
Big bowl of spaghetti Bolognese or fishfingers and chips, bottle of wine.
Chocolate, crisps, cake or biscuits
Sue’s diet now
Porridge or eggs
Homemade scotch egg or leftover dinner.
Small portion of beef stew or fish pie
Slice of watermelon, cheese string, protein bar or fruit
‘I thought I was going to die of embarrassment. All the other diners were staring, so I just had to leave. I was absolutely devastated.
‘That was the turning point for me, so I joined Weight Watchers, now known as WW. I followed their points system, but would save my points to use on wine. I didn’t stop drinking.
‘I took up running, though, and lost 10 stone in a year.’
But in 2014 she injured her right foot damaging the tendon, so had to quit running and the family home was burgled – resulting in them moving house.
‘I put lots of weight back on after I stopped running and drank more. The calories from alcohol really didn’t help,’ she said.
‘Being burgled was very traumatic, too, and, as I drank more, I accepted I was an alcoholic.
In 2011 Sue married Mike but was only able to lose a stone for the big day and was forced to wear a size 34 pink dress. Pictured, Sue just after her first child Dillon was born
She was finally humiliated into taking action in 2012, after being publicly embarrassed in a restaurant with her husband Mike. Pictured, left, before her weightloss journey and right, after losing 26 stone
To show just how much weight she has lost, Sue and her husband Mike (pictured) stood inside her old trousers legs to show just how big she had become
‘It was awful, as I’d thrown out my “fat clothes” thinking I’d made a lifestyle change so, as I got fatter, I just wore stretchy leggings and jogging bottoms, so I didn’t notice it as much.’
After gaining nine stone in a year, Sue stopped drinking, which gave her mental clarity, but only stabilised her weight.
‘I was really pleased that I gave up drinking, but it didn’t help me to lose weight,’ she said.
But she did start looking into gastric surgery online, although it took four years for her to summon the courage to ask her GP to add her to the NHS waiting list.
‘All that time, I kept active – going swimming and working out with my friends,’ she said.
‘The doctor could see I was capable of losing a large amount of weight, because I’d done it before, but I clearly had a problem keeping it off.
Sue decided to make a change after the humiliating restraurant experience in which the manager tried to change her seat, saying she was ‘too fat’ for a normal chair. Pictured, Sue poses for selfies with her new body after dramatic weight loss
‘I wasn’t overeating all the time and my weight had stabilised, so they accepted me for the operation.’
And in April 2019, Sue had a gastric bypass – which causes weight loss by changing how the stomach and small intestine handle food – at Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, Kent.
‘I was nervous, because it was a two hour operation and I was not sure I’d come out of it. I actually wrote goodbye notes to my family in case I didn’t,’ she said.
‘I was in hospital for four nights. It was painful and I felt quite uncomfortable inside, but within two to three weeks I was back on my feet again.
After the experience, she joined Weight Watchers, now known as WW, but would save up her points to use on wine and also took up running. Pictured, Sue before shedding the pounds
When she started exercising regularly, Sue lost around 10 stone in a year but soon piled it back on when an injury put a stop her ability to go running. Pictured, Sue before her bypass surgery
‘I had to walk for 30 minutes every day, so we bought a running machine, which I used as soon as I could.’
On a liquid diet for four weeks, followed by four weeks of pureed food and then two weeks of mashed up normal food, the first few months were very tough.
Sue said: ‘Mentally, it was hard. I didn’t realise how much food was on TV and how much I thought about it. I cried every day during the first four weeks, but I had to follow the diet, or I’d have been very ill.’
But, as she shed the pounds, her confidence soon soared and Sue began doing aquafit classes and boot camps, before building a mini gym in her garage.
Now working out eight times a week and regularly weightlifting, she follows a low carb diet, shunning pasta, rice, bread and avoiding high sugar and high fat food, which can make her sick.
‘I don’t miss carbs. I always say when you go out for a curry, what do you look forward to the most – the curry or the rice? I’m able to fill up on the curry,’ she laughed.
What is gastric bypass surgery?
There are several different types of surgeries that can be performed the help people with losing weight, one of which is a gastric bypass.
In the procedure, surgical staples are used to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach.
It is then connected to the small intestine and avoiding the rest of the stomach (bypassing).
As a result, the person who has the surgery does not have to eat as much to feel full and will absorb less calories from what they eat.
There is a higher risk of serious surgery complications with this type of surgery but patients are more likely to lose weight quickly.
‘I eat much smaller portions now. I eat off an Ikea child’s plate and have more wholefoods. I eat more for fuel than for enjoyment.
‘I have things like chilli con carne or fish pie and if my family have pasta, I’ll have something like an omelette.’
While her loved ones worried, as she had been through surgery, Sue says they are delighted to see her so much fitter and healthier.
‘My daughter Demi has even started joining me in the gym,’ she said.
‘I feel really healthy and the exercise is good for my mental health. I didn’t realise before how much I relied on food to build me up if I felt low. Now I use exercise.’
And she no longer sits on the sidelines, watching her husband and kids having fun.
She said: ‘A few weeks ago, I went to Go Ape – an outdoor adventure place -with the kids. I’d never have done that before.
‘I was really scared of heights, but I just went for it.’
Now, Sue hopes to crowdfund a £10,000 operation to remove two stone of excess skin, caused by her dramatic weight loss.
‘I can’t get the operation on the NHS, but they have done so much for me with the operation itself that I don’t expect that,’ she said.
‘The skin is on my stomach, my breasts, arms and legs. It gets in the way and when I’m working out it can get a bit sore.’
Weighing 10st 11lb and wearing a size 10, Covid-19 means Sue is yet to conquer her fear of planes, but this summer she enjoyed a family holiday to France.
She said: ‘We couldn’t fly because of Covid-19, so we drove, but it was the first time I’d ever worn a bikini. I didn’t care about the excess skin. It felt really good.’
Now she hopes to go to Lithuania in October 2021 to have a 360 tummy tuck with a fleur de lis, to remove excess skin, a breast uplift and arms and thigh lift at a private clinic.
‘My ultimate goal is to be completely confident in myself,’ said Sue. ‘It’s about my self-esteem and after this I will be where I want to be.’
To donate visit towards Sue’s excess skin removal operation, head to her JustGiving page.