Northamptonshire woman loses eight stone in 18 months and can now take on new challenges

“I’ve finally got a pair of dungarees like I've always wanted, I wouldn’t have been able to wear them before”
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A Northamptonshire woman has lost eight stone and found a new love for fashion and outdoorsy challenges.

Aimee Coles had tried everything to shift the pounds, but found herself in a rut of yo-yo dieting and weight loss.

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After a period of severe mental health issues, the patient pathway manager decided enough was enough and made a commitment to putting herself first.

Aimee Coles before and after her eight stone weight loss.Aimee Coles before and after her eight stone weight loss.
Aimee Coles before and after her eight stone weight loss.

The 40-year-old NHS worker has now dropped her weight from 20st to 11st 7lbs in 18 months following a gastric bypass in Riga, Latvia.

Aimee said: “I used to push my husband in front of me if we walked into a pub or restaurant. I didn’t like going in first, I didn’t like people looking at me. I thought they were talking about me.

“I was greedy, snacky and desperately unhappy. The more I ate, the more unhappy I’d be.

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“Something had to change. I’d been on the Cambridge diet, Weight Watchers and Slimming World. My whole life I’d either been really skinny or really big, I could never maintain a healthy weight.

“I started to look at surgery options but didn’t consider going abroad until I saw the astronomical prices in the UK.”

Aimee, who has worked for the NHS for more than 17 years, started looking for alternative solutions abroad and came across a clinic in Riga.

“I found the Weight Loss Riga Facebook group and just saw success after success so I started enquiring,” Aimee added.

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“It was so fast, I enquired in October 2021 and had the surgery in January 2022. I found the process really easy.

“I was made to feel so comfortable throughout my trip to Riga. I went alone because I felt it was a journey I needed to do on my own.

“My husband would have preferred to come with me, he was worried about something going wrong but I work in the NHS, I see surgery day in, day out so I suppose I’m more used to the idea of it.

“He knows I’m quite headstrong and there was no talking me out of it when I’d made my mind up. And my family supported my decision too.”

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Aimee says she had always been slim as a child, but started developing unhealthy eating habits, reaching for sugary and salty treats rather than having balanced meals.

As a teenager, she fixated on her weight and felt different to her friends. She tried multiple diets before having her daughter at 20, and afterwards as a young mum.

Aimee still eats a variety of different foods but manages her portion sizes. She was provided with a nutritionist for the first few months after her surgery, which she says helped her understand how to fuel her body.

Prior to her surgery, Aimee wore a size 22. Now she wears clothes between sizes 10-14.

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She said: “I love shopping now. I can buy anything I want now. I’ve finally got a pair of dungarees like I've always wanted, I wouldn’t have been able to wear them before.”

A love of fashion isn’t the only change in Aimee’s life. She has taken on new challenges and aims to do more.

“I climbed Snowdon last September which was a huge achievement. I didn’t do a record-breaking time or anything but I set myself the challenge and I did it.

“I also did the world's fastest zipline which is something I would have never been able to do before.

“I want to do a skydive one day but I’m saving up to go back to Riga to have surgery on my arms first,” Aimee continued.