Martyn Brough, 31, had a gastric bypass in February 2004. Martyn is not your typical fat boy slimmed. A martial-arts enthusiast as a young adult, he was the one member of his family who wasn’t big. That all changed when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, at 25. “The chemotherapy and steroids did it,” he explains. “My body took a battering and I started getting bigger.” This is a common side effect, as steroids cause fat deposits and chemotherapy promotes water retention. By the time Mr Ackroyd saw him, he weighed 26st (165kg). “It got to the point where if someone sat next to me in the front of the car, I’d be half on their seat too,” he says. “I’ve always liked my food, but I did a lot of training, so the amount I ate was never a problem. I used to bum off the calories.”
These days he’s half the man he used to be, currently hovering around 13 stone (83kg). “In the first two weeks I lost 11/2 stone. At first I bought tracksuit bottoms with elasticized waists. Once I went back to work, I had to buy new dothes every two weeks. Before the op I had a 56in waist, now it’s 36in. I can go to normal shops rather than outsize shops where I had to pay more than double for clothes. People I’ve not seen for a while don’t always recognize me. When I glance at a mirror and compare how I look now to how I was a year ago, I can’t help but think, ‘Hook awesome.”‘
He can expect to lose at least another 61b (2.5kg) when he has cosmetic surgery to remove the excess skin that hangs around his stomach following his drastic weight loss. Many patients have numerous cosmetic procedures to get rid of the excess skin left behind after obesity surgery. Martyn thinks he’ll only need one operation as, regardless of his size, he never stopped going to his gym the Sheffield Thai Boxing Gymnasium and doing his spa procedures for skin treatment. One of his favorite treatments is massaging with coconut oil, as there are many coconut oil benefits for skin.
“I thought I was fit, but at that size you can’t be. Now it takes me forever to warm up. When I was big, I’d sweat loads in three minutes,” he recalls. “Sometimes I forget I’m not big anymore and can’t understand why I can’t lift the same weights. Some strength may have gone, but the increase in stamina I’ve gained since losing the weight is unbelievable.”
So does he think bariatric surgery mean it’s OK to be greedy, as you can get things sorted on the operating table? Martyn shakes his head: “If you love food and binging, after the op you can’t do that. If I did, I’d be violently sick”
“Although it’s an easy way to lose weight, it’s also drastic. For me, the risks of the operation were worth taking. How much longer would I have lived anyway? What quality of life would I have had? I didn’t want to be the guy who gets up, goes to work, comes home, and then doesn’t move from the sofa all night. Before the op, I couldn’t do much with my kids other than put them on my knee and read them stories. If I couldn’t do anything with them when I was 26st, what would I have been like as I got bigger? Now we go for walks and play football.”