From chunky to hunky

Cuddly Colin was too roly-poly to romp...

Published by: Jemma Gillard and Matthew Barbour
Published on: 28 March 2013

As I spooned out portions of my homemade cottage pie, I had to admit that it smelled delicious. And I clearly wasn't the only one who approved.
‘That looks great, love,' my husband Colin, 54, grinned, tucking in straight away.
Even before our daughter Lisa, 23, had sat down, he was halfway through his.
My hubby wasn't greedy, he just never felt full.
‘You're supposed to be on a diet,' I said.
‘Well, it's not exactly working is it?' he argued, patting the spare tyres bulging over his waistband. ‘I've only lost a couple of pounds in the past two weeks.'
‘You've got to keep trying,' I snapped.
With his triple chin and bulging belly, Colin looked like a hippo compared with the man that I'd met 30 years earlier. Even then, he'd had a bit of a round belly.But, over the years, he'd really ballooned. And now he was 25st and looked liked a walking heart attack waiting to happen.
‘I just don't understand,' he moaned. ‘I'm on the go all day, fixing cars.'
‘Maybe it's eating at the wrong time,' I suggested.
Colin was so hefty, even his active job as a mechanic couldn't keep his weight down. Due to his size, he had to give up cycling to work and often struggled for breath. By the time he came home in the evening, he was exhausted.
It meant our sex life had all the sparkle of one of his oily old garage overalls.
At night, I'd get a peck on the cheek before he popped on his oxygen mask and rolled over. He suffered from sleep apnoea because of his weight, which meant he could stop breathing while we was asleep.
But even if he'd had the energy for sex, he wouldn't have the confidence to take his clothes off.
‘Where are you going?' I asked one evening, as he crept out to the bathroom
‘I'm just putting on my pyjamas,' he said.
‘Why can't you change in front of me anymore?' I asked.
‘I just don't feel comfortable getting this out,' he sighed, grabbing his bulging belly.
Our relationship wasn't the only thing under strain. Colin was also missing out on spending time with our grandson Dylan, 20 months.
‘I'm taking Dylan to the beach,' our son Wayne, 28, said one morning. ‘Why don't you come with us?'
‘Not today,' Colin replied.
It felt as if life was on hold because of his size.
‘I just can't live like this,' I told him one evening. ‘Either you lose weight or you lose me.'
It must have been a wake up call because, the next day, Colin went to see his GP. He was referred to a dietician and put on medication, but nothing worked. But then he got some good news.
‘I've been approved for gastric bypass surgery,' he told me.
Soon after, he went into hospital and during the 14-hour operation, his stomach was stapled to the size of an egg.
Weight started dropping off and, within three months, his blood pressure was back to normal.
‘You're doing so well,' I encouraged him.
He was transforming from chunky to hunky and I couldn't wait to get my hands on my new, improved man.
But my hopes for an injection of passion in our relationship were quickly dashed. The oxygen mask was long gone, but I was still getting the cold shoulder in bed. He still shuffled off to the bathroom to get changed.
‘What's the matter?' I asked.
‘This,' Colin sighed, lifting up his top.
‘Oh,' I said, startled.
His big belly had disappeared but in its place, a huge fold of loose skin hung down like an apron. And his chest was like two droopy spaniel ears.
‘It looks like you have bigger boobs then me!' I giggled.
‘Now you know why I don't want you to see me naked,' he sighed. ‘I look terrible.'
The only ray of light was that Colin was entitled to have surgery to remove the excess skin. But he had to wait until his weight had stabilised a bit more.
Two years on, he'd lost 13st, was a healthy 12st 7lb and, finally, he got a date for his operation.
Firstly, he had a tummy tuck to remove the apron of skin. Then he had an upper body lift to get rid of his man boobs. In total, 13lb of skin was removed from his chest and stomach area.
Once the scars had healed, he was finally able to take his top off.
‘You look gorgeous,' I grinned. ‘In fact, you're just like that guy I met all those years ago.'
‘Maybe we should have an early night to celebrate,' he winked.
The spark was most definitely back! After that, we were like a pair of teenagers.
I loved cuddling into Colin's firm chest. Underneath his top, there were tight pecs instead of moobs. And I couldn't keep my hands off of them.
‘Oh, get a room you two,' our daughter Lisa cried, as she caught us canoodling. ‘I really don't want to see my parents snogging.'
Not only has Colin's new look created that spark between us again, but we've become closer than ever. Last year, we went on a family holiday to Majorca, something he'd never have done while he was big. I feel like I've fallen in love with my hubby all over again. He's the only tasty dish I need!

• Colin Ollerenshaw, 54, says: ‘The amazing intimacy we have now is unbelievable. I'm in no doubt that the surgery saved our marriage and has prolonged my life so that I can see my grandchild grow up.'

Beverley Ollerenshaw, 50, Acocks Green, South Birmingham