A mum lost 10st so she could take her kids to Disneyland and fit on the rides – and says her transformation is so extreme even a work colleague didn't recognise her.
Natasha Burt, 36, said she had always struggled with her weight, but ballooned to 21st 9lbs and a size 24 over the pandemic.
The mum-of-two booked herself in for a £2.7k mini gastric bypass in Turkey in July 2021 and says it’s “the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Since she has dropped to a slender 10st 13lbs and a size 12, and is back swimming and running 5k.
Natasha was able to take her children Lilly, 11, and Parker, four, to Disneyland for the first time in December 2022.
Before now, she was scared of being turned around for being too big to fit on a ride.
She said her transformation has been so extreme a work colleague she hadn't seen for a while spoke to her for ten minutes before recognising it was Natasha.
Natasha, an administrator and events coordinator, from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: “I got to take my kids to Disneyland for the first time and was able to fit on the rides.
“I had to get off a ride before at a little theme park near us because I was too big.
“I went on all the rides but my heart was still pounding in my chest in case they said to me I can’t get on.
“Now I have people just look through me and not recognise me.
“I spoke to someone I know for 10 minutes at work and they had no idea who I was.
“My little boy will ask me ‘am I turning into a little girl because you’re getting smaller.’
“When he looks at old pictures of me he says ‘mummy I like you better now'.”
Natasha had always been a “bigger” child but said her weight ballooned when she went on the contraceptive implant aged 18.
She dieted throughout her life but had been happy at a size 18 on her wedding day when she tied the knot with husband, Daniel, 25, a steelworker, in January 2020.
“I was outgoing and always the life and soul of the party,” she said.
“I felt great in my wedding dress.”
In January 2021 Natasha lost three stone through the Cambridge diet but put the weight back on after suffering an ectopic pregnancy.
“My diet just went out the window,” she said.
“It affected me more than I thought it would.”
Natasha would snack at any chance she got, munching through a family size bag of crisps in one sitting, and grabbing chocolate bars when filling up at the petrol station.
“I ate home cooked food that I cooked for my family,” she said.
“But I would have a big portion or even go back for another plate.”
Natasha found herself getting bigger and bigger through lockdown.
“I became complacent,” she said.
“I didn’t want to be seen anymore.”
Natasha saw a woman she followed on social media have surgery to lose weight and decided to look into herself.
She had a mini gastric bypass at Irmet hospital, Turkey, in July 2021.
“I was away for 17 days from my kids,” she said.
“It was so hard.”
But Natasha doesn’t regret the operation and has now lost nearly 11 stone and has dropped to a size 12.
“It was mentally one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” she said.
“People say I have cheated to lose weight by having surgery but it was still tough.
“I have a three ounce stomach now so I eat less than my kids.
“I can’t indulge on rubbish food or I will be physically sick.”
Since losing the weight, Natasha and others don’t recognise her.
“I walk past a mirror and I can’t believe it is me,” she said.
“I still think of myself as massive.
“People look through me they don’t recognise me.
“I lived all my life in maxi dresses and all I wanted was to wear jeans and a T-shirt.
“Now I can and do.”
Natasha’s family have been supportive of her weight loss transformation and are proud of her for taking part in a couch for 5k and getting back in the swimming pool after ten years.
“Dan doesn’t see me any differently,” she said.
“He’s loved me through everything.
“The little things like being able to tie my shoe laces and cross my legs are amazing.
“I said to Dan we need to get married again because I don’t like the pictures of me anymore.
“I’ve always admired people who have been big and happy but that’s never been me.”