I felt so unattractive, like elephant woman

Health fears: Sam Taylor as she was. Below, happy and healthy: Sam Taylor today
Health fears: Sam Taylor as she was. Below, happy and healthy: Sam Taylor today
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Mum tells how excess weight and poor health were killing her

Sam Taylor was forced to stare death in the face after her obesity-related medical conditions became so severe.

Photo Ian Robinson'Super slimmer, Sam Taylor, a mum of 3 from Tarleton almost died and had written her bucket list due to weight-related illnesses. She has since lost over eight stone

Photo Ian Robinson'Super slimmer, Sam Taylor, a mum of 3 from Tarleton almost died and had written her bucket list due to weight-related illnesses. She has since lost over eight stone

She said: “I had struggled with my weight my entire life, pretending to myself and other that I was content, when really I was hiding the truth from myself.”

By the age of 41, her weight problems far more serious than not fitting into pretty dresses.

She said: “From 2011, I was feeling extremely ill, I had zero energy, was out of breath, lethargic and unable to cope with the simplest tasks.

“I would fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

After being diagnosed with severe sleep apnoea, Sam was fitted with a CPAP machine, which made her fall deeper into depression.

“I just felt so unattractive having to wear such a monstrosity to keep me alive,” Sam said, “I felt like the elephant woman.”

The following year Sam’s health was hit by another blow when specialists were putting her through tests for Cushing’s disease – a collection of symptoms that develop due to very high levels of cortisol in the body.

Sam said: “I was refused life insurance, so I actually started writing my ‘bucket’ list. It turned out I had type II diabetes and it was killing me.”

However, despite all of the health conditions and the supposed death sentence, the final straw came for Sam was when she caught sight of her reflection while dancing at a party dancing, wearing a pair of “not so skinny jeans”

“I felt completely devastated and mortified at what was staring back at me,” she said.

“So I approached my local Slimming World group and, even though I felt anxious about being judged for being the size I was, I immediately felt accepted for just being me.”

Sam, who is mum to 15-year-old Becca, 12 year-old Owen and seven-year-old Josh, had always been a lover of food – particularly pulled pork and wedges “made with oodles of butter”.

And, as a self-confessed chocoholic, she would often pick up a multipack of Dairymilk while getting fuel, 
“it would have been demolished before I had got home.”

Now, after losing more than eight stones, Sam knows that there is no going back, as her health has improved massively.

Sam said: “My diabetes is now fully under control, my cholesterol and blood pressure has reduced and most of all, my sleep apnoea is now classed as mild.

“The relief I felt when the specialist told me I no longer needed that machine to keep me alive was so overwhelming I could have kissed him.”

And Sam has also found a way of helping others with the hurt, pain and suffering, she felt by running her very own Slimming World group at Tarleton Bowling Club, Sutton Lane, Tarleton on Tuesday evenings at 5.30pm or 7.30pm.

She’s even helped husband Darren, who did the Slimming World diet alongside her, to lose more than three stones.

Sam said: “The first week I held a session I smashed all of my targets, I was so proud of myself.

“I wasn’t going to let my health conditions kill me.

“I just want to be healthy and happy for my family and feel good about planning our future together.”