Life Video

By Josh Saunders


A super-slimmer who was left with the ‘body of E.T.’ after losing 16 stone (100kg) has surgery to remove her saggy ‘cocoon’ of excess skin. 

Chantelle Fleming, 30, from Melbourne, Australia, suffered agonising chaffing, rubbing and severe skin infections due to her hanging skin that weighed nearly a stone (6kg). 

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS

She was left deeply embarrassed by her ‘melted candle body’ following weight loss and deflated breasts that she compared to those of an orangutan. 

Until five months ago, when she flew to Destination Beauty in Thailand for an extended tummy tuck, combined breast augmentation with lift to change her B-cups to E-cups. 

Now three-years-on from the beginning of her journey, following doctors deathly warning her to ‘lose weight or die,’ when she weighed a hefty 28 stone (179.9kg), she is now unrecognisable.

Having removed the excess skin she says that left her looking like E.T. from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 science fiction film, she finally feels feminine again and proud of her hard work. 

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS 

Chantelle, who works administration and sales support, said: “I was experiencing a lack of self-confidence within my body whether it be in my relationship or how I could wear clothes. 

“I was at the gym five to six days a week and following an eating plan which was within my calorie range, but it didn’t matter how hard I pushed myself, the skin would just not reduce.

“I had rolls of skin just hanging down. I had no breasts and no showing of what my skin or skeletal structure looked like, it was quite depressing.

“My body to me felt like a melted candle, I was ashamed, I was embarrassed. I also would compare my breasts to those of orangutans, I had no tissue or fat left in there. 

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS

“I felt quite boyish and felt my hard work is underneath it and I have to lift all of this off me to see the result.

“I would compare my body to E.T., I had jokes with friends after seeing a meme that this is what I felt like I looked like.

“I needed femininity back in my life, I needed to be selfish and do something for me.

“But now I’m so proud of my body, I’m so happy with how it looks and that I can see all the hard work I had put into myself and my lifestyle over three years.” 

Chantelle believes her diet during childhood led her to swell to such a large size, when she kept a locker full of chocolate, lollies, other sugary snacks and chips.

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS 

By the time she was walking down the aisle to marry husband Grant, 35, in 2014, she was wearing a dress size 30 and had a body mass index of 63.8 – the highest category for obesity. 

It was only after consulting a doctor, following her falling asleep from the exhaustion of carrying her bodyweight that her she was told she would die if she didn’t lose weight.

It spurred Chantelle into action, getting a gastric sleeve in March 2015 as well as going to the gym up to five times a week and switching fast food for smoothies and shakes. 

But after losing weight, the loose skin on her body left her battling mental and physical problems.

Chantelle said: “I was having severe medical issues with my skin, Rubbing and Chaffing. I was also prone to skin infections between the folds of my skin. 

“I was tucking skin in places I shouldn’t have been. I felt I couldn’t show my whole story or journey off and the skin was holding me back.  

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS

“Some others around me were lucky and the skin bounced back, with mine no matter how hard I worked and tried I just couldn’t get the skin to bounce back.”

Chantelle went to Destination Beauty in Thailand to have over £8,000 (15kAUD) worth of surgery to remove her excess skin and a breast augmentation and lift.

She was left a changed woman following her recovery and now with a body she’s proud of – weighing 12st 6lb (79.1kg) and fitting a dress size 12.  

She said: “To go from being so morbidly obese, hating yourself, eating your feelings because you have no control, are piling on the weight and blaming other people for it. I no longer wanted to wear the victim status. 

“I did what I did to myself and I had to rectify it, I did, I had some issues along the way with body confidence and self-esteem. 

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS 

“Going under the knife to remove some of the ‘cotton wool’ that was placed over my eyes and really showed me how much I’ve worked.

“Now the skin is gone I feel free, there is no tucking, there are no excuses I can just get on the treadmill or go outside and run. 

“It’s almost like comparing a caged bird to being set free, I feel that I could take on anything now I have nothing holding me back.”

Chantelle says prior to the surgeries she feared the results due to ‘horror stories’ and ‘misconceptions’ around surgery abroad. 

She added: “My experience was absolutely amazing. My recovery was textbook. The destination beauty team did such an amazing job with me. 

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS 

“I was really impressed with some of the work Dr Angkana was producing, And my own expectations of her were changed when I met her. 

“She was humorous, compassionate and caring, she listened to my concerns, but she had her own and I respect that she is the surgeon and knows what she is doing. 

“She is amazing and has such attention to detail, her incisions are minimal and the way I was put back together was neat and tidy. 

“Dr Angkana, Nurse Aom and Destination beauty have changed my life for the better.”

Destination Beauty in Thailand say they are delighted with Chantelle’s transformation, having watched both physical and mental changes in her since surgery. 

Martin Olsen, 45, CEO at Destination Beauty, said: “We are very pleased with our work with Chantelle.

PICS BY CHANTELLE FLEMING / CATERS NEWS

“She can wear clothes she would never have been able to wear before, now that her 6kgs of tummy skin has been removed. 

“Chantelle’s massive skin removal has resulted in a lot more self-confidence for her. She is now a beautiful and youthful looking 30-year-old.

“I admire Chantelle’s commitment to share her story and journey via her Instagram and her ability to touch and inspire so many others in the same situation.”

For more information on surgery visit: http://destinationbeauty.com/