I hated my figure after I gave birth to seven kids – now I'm a grandma & I'm hotter than ever – many don't recognise me

A MUM has told how people barely recognise her since she became a gran thanks to her super slim makeover. 

Having seven children had taken its toll on Ellisha Kay, 47, and as she piled on the pounds she found her body confidence took a tumble.

But Ellisha, who lives with her husband Dennis, 51, in Plymouth, was determined not to give up on the figure of her dreams and embarked on a life-changing weight loss journey.

Two years later, the mum-of-seven is barely recognisable and happier than ever, but it was by no means an easy feat.

She spoke to Fabulous about her incredible transformation…

I had always been desperate to become a mum.

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I had an unsteady upbringing and although I enjoyed a few wild years in my teens I wanted to start a big family to call my own.

And I didn’t wait long.

By the time I was in my early 20s I’d had four kids in quick succession: Jessica, now 26, Jake, now 25, Charlie, now 24 and Zack, now 23. 

But my relationship wasn’t a happy one and I ended up in a women’s refuge.

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My self-esteem was at rock bottom. I found a job and a place to live, but as a single mum on a tight budget, we lived on cheap food.

We’d sit down to meals of chicken nuggets, pizzas and hot dogs and once I’d fed the kids, I’d find myself clearing the leftovers from their plates.

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By the time I met Dennis, in 2000, I was already 14st, despite being only 5ft tall.

I’d become a mum for the fifth time, to Josh, now 19, before we planned our gothic-themed wedding, and the pregnancy left me heftier than ever.

A rock chick at heart, I walked down the aisle in a size 18/20 black wedding dress, my boobs almost spilling out over the top.

Dennis never minded my weight, always reassuring me ‘I love you whatever size you are’.

But I felt miserable about my weight, especially when I fell pregnant again with our daughter Hannah, now 15, in 2006.

I was so big that I suffered gestational diabetes, and by the time I was a couple of weeks from my due date, Hannah was measuring larger than normal in the scan.

“This baby’s the size of a two-year-old!” a doctor joked. I smiled along, but deep down I felt ashamed.

Hannah was too big to be born naturally so she arrived via C section, weighing 11lbs 11oz. I knew being obese during pregnancy had contributed to her size.

But the back-handed comments continued to come.

When I had my appointment with our health visitor a couple of months later her trainee blurted out: ‘Oh my God, how much chocolate are you giving this child?’

She’d obviously took one look at the size of me and assumed I was passing on my unhealthy habits – I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

Soon I fell pregnant again with my youngest, Kaiden, now 12.

Again, I was an overweight, high-risk mum, but this time I was offered a glimmer of hope.

At the time we were living in Manchester, so Salford Royal Hospital offered me a spot on a scientific study they were running.

They were giving women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy a gastric bypass operation after birth, to see if they could reduce the risk of going on to develop diabetes in later life.

Almost a year after having Kaiden, in May 2010, I went under the knife.

It was risky – I weighed 22st 12lbs and was a dress size 26. But I hoped it could finally be the answer to my weight battles.

In the months after my op I lost four stone and got a new lease of life.

All my experience having kids had left me with a burning ambition to become a midwife.

I remembered the way health professionals had treated me, because of my weight, and wanted to do something to help other women in my position.

Ever my cheerleader, Dennis supported me through two degrees in midwifery and specialist community public health nursing.

Going back to uni as a mature student I felt like the mum of the course, standing out like a sore thumb against all the slim younger women.

Graduating and becoming a midwife were a dream come true.

We moved to Plymouth and I started working as a health visitor.

But the long hours, not to mention holding down a full-time career alongside raising seven kids, took their toll on my eating habits.

Once again I was surviving on junk food and ready meals.

Even though my stomach was tiny after the surgery, I binged on ‘slider-foods’ – so-called because they slip down easily.

Things like crisps and chocolate bars are just empty calories.

And of course, community nursing offices are always full of boxes of chocolates and tins of biscuits from grateful families. 

Out on my rounds, I’d call into Greggs for a sausage roll or grab a full fat latte between calls.

By January 2020, after yet another blow-out Christmas, I was squeezing into a size 20 clothes and feeling just as bloated as ever.

The thing I hated most of all was the looks the new mums gave me when I advised them about the importance of a healthy diet.

I felt like such a hypocrite.

When the first lockdown hit in March 2020, I saw my chance.

As a key worker I was pulling 40-hour weeks, helping all those mums who were having babies during Covid, plus additional hours working for Test and Trace. 

But with cafes and restaurants closed, I had nowhere to stop for my usual sugar fixes.

Instead, I enrolled on the One2One Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, weighing in at 15st.

When I set out for work in the morning, my key worker badge on my dashboard, the front seat was loaded with enough Cambridge shakes, bottles of water and bars to get my through a long shift.

Within weeks the weight had started to melt away and my clothes felt looser.

And as the first lockdown eased I was out shopping for smaller dress sizes.

I started getting positive comments patients from my patients – “Oh my God, I hardly recognised you,” they told me.

A year later I was down to 9st 4lbs, a dress size 8-10 – the skinniest I’d ever been in my life.

And I’d discovered a love of exercise, working out in the gym between shifts.

But I’d replaced one problem with another… losing 13st, over half my body weight, had left me with unsightly loose skin.

My belly hung down over my waistband like an apron, there were flaps of skin hanging from my upper arms and thighs, and my boobs looked like burst balloons.

I took my life savings and the little extra I’d made doing overtime in Covid and booked myself a body overhaul.

In May 2021 I booked myself into a clinic in Turkey for a 360 body lift and breast implants.

That summer Jessica gave birth to Sienna, giving me my first grandchild.

But I felt anything but a grandma… in fact I felt slimmer and sexier than ever before.

In October I travelled to Turkey again for more surgery – this time to tackle the loose skin on my upper arms and thighs.

I reckon I spent about £14k in total on surgery, but my new figure has been worth every penny.

These days I eat a healthy homecooked diet, supplemented with Cambridge products.

I feel so much more confident and empowered in my own skin now.

I can finally lead by example when I’m talking to other women.


Breakfast: Skipped, but then a sausage roll mid-morning

Lunch: Baguette with crisps and a donut

Dinner: Chicken nuggets and chips or oven pizza

Snacks: Full fat lattes, crisps, chocolate, biscuits


Breakfast: Wholemeal toast with honey or porridge

Lunch: Chicken salad or baked potato

Dinner: Homemade fish pie with veg or Cambridge meal

Snacks: Cambridge products or sugar-free jelly

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