An obese nurse who was told she would die before her 40th birthday has shed more than 16 stone.
Emma Turner, now 42, looks unrecognisable after the dramatic weight loss, in addition to an operation to get rid of excess skin.
The Australian nurse, from Melbourne, weighed 25 stone (st) and four pounds (lbs) at her heaviest, and wore the equivalent of a UK size 30 in clothing.
Gaining the weight
While for some, obesity begins in childhood, for Turner it did not begin until her late teenage years.
“I was always a slim child and only really started piling on the weight at around 16 years old,” she tells Caters News.
“I had a job and had just gotten my own car, so there was this new freedom.
“I could drive myself to the local takeaway shops and get anything I wanted. That’s when my addiction to food really started.
READ MORE: Foods to keep you fuller for longer
“I’d have dinner with my family and then sneak back out to the kitchen to make three sandwiches to bring back into my bedroom.
“It was very secretive and emotional eating, which is something that continued later in life.”
Turner reveals her weight crept up to 15st 11lb by the time she was just 18.
“And it just kept going from there over the next two decades.”
Living with obesity
Turner suffered several humiliating incidents before she decided to lose the weight.
She describes an incident where she was barred from going on a theme park ride because of her weight.
“One of the most embarrassing things was when I went to Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast when I was around 25 years old with all my friends.
“I dreaded it, but I wanted to give it a go. After lining up for ages, my friends and I finally got our turn on this ride called the giant drop.
“I could see the ride attendant looking at me uneasily. I squeezed into the seat and they tried to bring the vest harness down and it wouldn’t click into place.
“I was too fat for the ride and couldn’t be locked in. A loud siren went off and everyone was staring at me.
READ MORE: Should obesity be labelled a disease?
“I was mortified, and I had to walk back past this huge line of people. Lots of them were snickering at me and making mean comments.”
Following the incident, she sought comfort in food and ate a bucket of KFC Chicken in her hotel room.
The turning point
At the age of 38, Turner was told by a doctor that she was unlikely to live two more years.
She says: “Being told I was going to die before 40 was absolutely terrifying.
“I’d only gone to see my doctor about my sore back, and he just laid it all on me.
“He told me that if I didn’t lose weight, not only would my back not get better but I wouldn’t survive past 40.”
This was when Turner sought gastric band surgery. She subsequently lost 16 stone.
Further surgeries to remove excess skin, including a tummy tuck, thigh lift, monsplasty and breast lift with implants, have left Turner unrecognisable from her previous self.
“Happier than ever”
Now a clothing UK size 10 to 12, and weighing 8st 11lbs, Turner says she has never been happier.
“At [my previous] size, I only watched my life from the sidelines. Now I’m actually experiencing all the incredible things it has to offer and I feel amazing.
“I feel and look like a completely different person, and I’ve never felt happier.
“I can’t wait to live a long and healthy life as the new me. I’m never looking back.”
She now lives a healthy lifestyle, walking on the beach 45 minutes a day and eating a low carbohydrate, high protein diet consisting of porridge for breakfast, fruit smoothies and steak with vegetables.
Earlier this year, a British woman shared how she lost 18st 9lbs after getting stuck in a ride at Alton Towers.