Size 20 woman who turned to comfort eating after her son was stillborn reveals she dropped 6st to qualify for IVF – and now hopes to finally realise her dream of starting a family
A care assistant who comfort ate her way to 21 stone after her son was stillborn has dropped more than six stone in a bid to start fertility treatment.
Cherie Lupu, 29, from Wallasey, Wirral, was devastated after carrying baby Jayden to full term in 2010, only for complications to mean he did not survive.
She then started piling on the pounds, eating to quench her heartbreak, and would gorge on doner kebab takeaways and McDonald‘s.
When she married husband Marian, 23, a chef, in 2017 she knew she wanted to have children with him, but Cherie was dubbed ‘too fat for IVF‘.
At the time Cherie had a body mass index of 47, but a BMI limit of 30 is required for NHS treatment.
Cherie said: ‘I always knew I was big but when I was told by the doctors that I wasn‘t eligible for IVF because of my weight, I knew I had to change.
‘Not only do I feel healthier than ever before, my dream of becoming a mum is coming closer with every pound I lose.‘
After splitting up with her baby‘s dad, whom she does not want to name, Cherie met Marian in 2015 when they worked at a Wallasey takeaway called Charcoal Chicken.
Striking up an instant friendship, her job was only temporary and she soon landed a position as a holiday rep in Mallorca.
But, missing Marian throughout the season, she came back and they confessed their love – marrying in October 2017 and, soon after, trying to start a family.
Cherie said: ‘Obviously starting a family after everything I‘d been through in the past was a big deal, but I couldn‘t wait to be pregnant again.
‘After a few months I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me and I booked in an appointment at the fertility clinic.‘
Six months after her wedding a fertility specialist initially found no problem, but a keyhole investigation, or larparoscopy, led to suspicions she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a common condition, affecting how the ovaries work.
Cherie‘s diet before
Breakfast: Bacon butties
Lunch: McDonald‘s chicken nugget meals with a double cheeseburger
Dinner: Doner kebab takeaways
Cherie‘s diet after
Breakfast: Fruit pots
Lunch: Healthy pasta or couscous salad
Dinner: Protein heavy meal
But this was not confirmed and, with no definite diagnosis of what was wrong, she was given ovulation therapy to help her produce more eggs.
Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.
Soon Cherie was spending up to £50 a month on weekly pregnancy tests, saying: ‘I became obsessed with finding out whether I was pregnant, taking several tests a week.
‘But every time it was negative and I‘d have to go through all that heartache again.‘
In January 2018, with Cherie still unable to conceive, doctors advised that her best hope would be through IVF treatment.
Unable to afford it privately, as it cost thousands of pounds, she was told that, then weighing 21 stone and wearing size 20 clothes, she was too fat to be accepted for treatment on the NHS.
A yo-yo dieter since the age of 20, Cherie was at a loss with what to do about her situation.
Since losing her baby on April 2, 2010, food had been her comfort. She said: ‘It was my first and only pregnancy, and while it hadn‘t been planned, I was over the moon to be welcoming my son into the world.
‘I carried him full-term, but unfortunately there were complications and Jayden wasn‘t destined to be part of this world.‘
‘Then, despite not being fat before, after putting on all the baby weight I turned to food straightaway.‘
In January, a friend recommended Bodyline Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic, which offered personalised action plans covering diet, exercise and nutrition, as well as fully licensed prescription weight loss medication.
She said: ‘A friend had lost a lot of weight with Bodyline, so I made an appointment and from my first meeting with the clinical team I knew it was going to change my life – for the better.
‘The doctors and nurses are totally non-judgmental and so supportive and have given me a personalised plan that I can stick to.‘
Costing £17.50 a week, the programme saw Cherie cut her calorie intake down to just 1,200 a day.
Her old diet used to consist of bacon butties for breakfast, McDonald‘s chicken nugget meals with a double cheeseburger on the side for lunch, and doner kebab takeaways for dinner, with family packs of crisps and family size bars of chocolate as snacks throughout the day.
Instead, she now she eats fruit pots for breakfast, healthy pasta or couscous salad at lunch and a protein heavy meal for dinner.
Cherie said: ‘I wouldn‘t say I‘m an angel by any means. I have a set calorie count for each day and stick to my meal plans, but I have a much healthier relationship with food now.‘
Now just two points off her target BMI of 30, weighing 14st 9lbs and a slim size 14, Cherie has her sights set on beginning her IVF treatment in September.
She said: ‘I‘m going away to Antalya, Turkey, in July, but as soon as I‘m back I want to get the wheels in motion. In a short space of time I‘ve lost over six stone – more than a quarter of my original body weight.‘