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среда, 8 марта 2017 г.

Sharmaine Kerr 'We stopped having sex when I put on weight'

When Sharmaine Kerr lost her model figure, she didn’t realise the devastating effect it would have on her relationship

Unlike the majority of women, Sharmaine Kerr didn't agonise over whether her man still found her attractive when she'd put on weight.

Her partner George made his feelings perfectly clear. Not only did he tell friends he no longer fancied her, he stopped having sex with her too.
"At first he'd claim he'd fallen asleep on the sofa watching TV, or didn't want to wake me so had slept in the spare room, but then he stopped making excuses," explains Sharmaine.
"Our night-time ritual went from sharing kisses in bed to sleeping in separate rooms. I was devastated, but I knew the cause: I'd put on weight."
According to Sharmaine, now 45, George made no secret of the fact he liked her thin, even telling her friends that was the case.
And as she gained weight following the birth of her baby, her self-esteem plummeted.
"The more weight I put on, the more I tried to hide my body from George. I just felt so disgusting," she says.
Things were different when Sharmaine first met George in Yorkshire 13 years ago. Then she was a size 6 model who, at 5ft 10in, weighed just 7st after years starving herself to compete in the modelling industry.
George, a catering director 10 years her senior, helped her to take a more healthy approach to what she ate.
"He was always telling me how great I looked. He'd buy me clothes to show off my body and when we went out for meals, he'd encourage me to relax about food."
After four years, Sharmaine agreed to move in with George. Shortly after she discovered she was pregnant and the couple were over the moon.
"When I went to have a check-up the doctor told me I needed to put on some weight to keep my baby healthy. That's when I started to get heavier," she says.
Even then Sharmaine was only 10st and a size 10, slim by any reckoning, but even more so for a pregnant woman. However, after giving birth to her daughter Lily in April 2001, she found it impossible to reign in her eating.
"George was working long hours so I felt very alone. I started eating all the wrong things - takeaways, fried chicken, crisps, pasta, pies, and chocolate," she says.
The weight crept on and Sharmaine became locked in a cycle of yo-yo dieting.
"I was so miserable and I hated my body. I tried every diet under the sun, but I couldn't stick to any of them. I would go up to a size 18, then diet down again to a 14, then put all the weight back on. I was desperate to be the woman George wanted," she says.
It was at this point that their relationship hit rock-bottom.
"George seemed to shut down and stop communicating. We were saying the bare minimum to each other," Sharmaine says. "Then I heard him making snide remarks about how big I was. He would tell friends: 'I don't recognise her any more. She looks like a different person.' That just made things even worse. I was so hurt by what he said and upset that he hated the way I looked.
"Our sex life was dead. I was far too ashamed of my body and George had made it obvious he didn't find me attractive."
Sharmaine was devastated. But there was further humiliation to come.
In December 2007, six years after her daughter was born, she hit 24st and a dress size 24. To her horror, George began sleeping on the sofa and in the spare room.
"I realised we couldn't go on like this. The fact my man couldn't bear to sleep in the same bed as me was bad enough, but I was also so exhausted from carrying the weight, I couldn't even play with my daughter. I was so miserable I knew I had to do something."
And so Sharmaine embarked on a plan to save herself - and her relationship. She joined a gym and through hard work and determination, lost 6st, taking her to a size 18. But she wanted to get down to a size 10.
In desperation, she scoured the internet and read about Alizonne Therapy, a four-stage weight-loss plan that combines a diet plan with ultrasound treatment to break down fat under the skin.
"The treatment cost £5,000. There was no way I could afford it on my own, so I had to ask George to pay for it. I was so pleased when he agreed, but I knew he also wanted me to get my old body back," she says.
In the five months since starting the plan, Sharmaine has lost 8st and is now a size 10.
"I'm so much happier now, and I have so much more confidence," she smiles.
Sharmaine may have her body back, but it's going to take a little longer to repair her relationship.
"I'm trying to forgive him, but it's hard," Sharmaine admits. "He wasn't there for me when I needed him and it'll take me time to get over that. Recently I overheard him tell someone he wanted me to be a size zero, but I think he should love me whatever my size."
The couple are now sleeping in the same bed again and say their sex life is back on track. But these days George has some serious competition. "I get admiring glances from other men all the time," Sharmaine says. "I'd forgotten how that felt!"
George admits he found it hard to talk to Sharmaine about her weight problems.
"I didn't want to say anything because I knew how miserable she was about her weight," he explains. "It was a difficult issue to bring up, so we stopped communicating. I had my doubts when she went on her latest diet - I thought she'd give up again. But the results are incredible. She looks fantastic - it's taken years off her."
Relationship expert Tracey Cox says:

"We all expect the odd pound to creep on, but to go from a size 6 to size 24 in five years is a pretty radical change. In George's eyes, if he'd wanted a size-24 woman, that's what he would have gone for. So you can understand why the attraction disappeared. But how he handled it was appalling. Positive feedback would have encouraged Sharmaine to lose weight, not negative put-downs and abandoning her.
Some people starve themselves when they're stressed or depressed; others, like Sharmaine, eat. The problem wasn't the food, it was the emotional hole it was filling - the hole that may well have been caused by George's rejection of her fuller figure."

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