CHANELLE Hayes is undergoing major life changes in more ways than one.
The former Big Brother star underwent a secret gastric sleeve op, losing 7st and now she wants to quit the limelight to become a nurse.
The Big Brother star hit rock bottom as she turned down job offers, hid from friends and faced urgent hospital dashes at the height of her obesity.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Chanelle, 33, says she had the op after fears her weight could kill her and crippled her financially.
The 5ft 3ins star is celebrating losing 7 stone since having the key-hole surgery, which removed a large part of the stomach to limit food intake.
Chanelle is now working as a student nurse with plans to quit fame and be a fully qualified medic by 2024.
The emotional mum-of-two said: “The benefits to my life mentally and physically are just unreal, it makes me emotional how much I have gained from losing.
"It’s just had such a positive impact on everything, Surgery can be quite taboo as the only way out. But if you’re addicted to food, you can’t live without food, no human can live without food or drink, how can you break this addiction if you’re still eating this food every day?
“I wanted to come out and say I had weight loss surgery to normalise it and prove it’s not a bad thing that I needed external help to do this.
“Not everyone can do this on their own. Maybe some people might view it as weak and lazy, but the benefits so far outweigh all those connotations that come with it from people’s opinions."
Opening up about how her “addiction” to binge-eating saw her weight spiral out of control, Chanelle says: “It was horrendous. I didn’t want to see or speak to anyone. I didn’t even want to leave the house or go anywhere – I was like a hermit in my home.
“I didn’t speak to anyone for a year. I literally saw nobody, so I definitely didn't have a love life. I didn’t even have a life.
“I just couldn’t bear to do anything. Every time I had an offer to work I would just turn it down, so it massively impacted me financially.
"Then lockdown happened and I kept eating because of the stress and I just ballooned and got bigger and bigger.
"Everybody was saying they didn’t like being in lockdown, but I was just so pleased that I didn’t have to go out anywhere or see anyone.”
Chanelle – who found fame on Channel 4's Big Brother in 2007 when she was just 19 – says her weight soared after her second pregnancy and the stress of moving home.
After years of yo-yo dieting, the reality star struggled to get on top of her bad habits – and saw the pounds pile on.
She says: “No matter how many hours I did at the gym, I was relentlessly eating and eating out of control, like some sort of weird addiction to food or something."
Chanelle says she was forced to face reality when her blood pressure rocketed and she suffered a soaring heart rate.
"I have my kids who I need to be a role model for," Chanelle said.
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