MARI Nicol piled on MORE THAN six stones in both her pregnancies but she has since found the ultimate diet hack to keep her on track – asking her husband to get the snip.
The mum of two had lost 6st after her first pregnancy but piled it all on again and went up to 18st when she unexpectedly fell pregnant for a second time, despite being on the Pill.
Mari, 32, loves her children Bobby, four, and Ivy Rose, two, but DURING PREGNANCY WAS plagued by sickness which made her crave sugary foods and eat for comfort and hated what it did to her body.
Her post-pregnancy weight with Bobby had made her self-esteem so low she hated partner David Bannatyne, 39, seeing her naked and pushed him away to the point they almost split up.
So when Ivy Rose arrived, as well as dramatically changing her diet and dropping 7st 7lbs from 18st to a healthy 10st 7 lbs and a size 10 Mari asked David if he would have a vasectomy.
David, 39, obliged and the happy couple’s sex life is better than ever as Mari does not need to worry about falling pregnant…and FALLING off the healthy eating wagon….again.
Mari, who lives with David and the kids in Clydebank, West Dumbartonshire, says: “I’m so grateful to David for agreeing to have the vasectomy.
“Gaining so much weight in pregnancy ruined my life and I just couldn’t face the thought of going back there again.
“It was affecting me so much I didn’t want to have sex even when I had lost the weight because I was too afraid of falling pregnant and getting fat again.
“The operation has saved our relationship and my figure and we could not be happier.”
Former student beauty therapist Mari was a comfortable 12st and size 12 when she met quality control inspector David in 2012 but she fell pregnant eight months later and soared to 18st5 and a size 22.
Mari: “During the pregnancy with Bobby I craved takeaways, crisps and chocolates. I told myself it was fine to over-indulge because I was pregnant.
“I began to enjoy whatever I wanted. I thought I would put on some weight, but not six stones.
“I was horrified but everyone said I was probably having a big baby.”
When Bobby arrived in December 2013 he weighed a petite 7lb13, while Mari had grown by five dress sizes and felt miserable.
She says: “I didn’t feel blooming, I felt like a beached whale and couldn’t believe I’d let myself gain so much weight.”
“I loved being a mum but I hated what pregnancy had done to my body. I kept comparing myself to other mums who hadn’t gained as much as me.”
When Bobby was five months old Mari joined a tough metafit exercise class combing core work and cardio but was mortified when the instructor eyed her stomach and assumed she was still pregnant.
She says: ‘He said something about pregnant women taking it easy and I was too embarrassed to admit I was fat not pregnant so just nodded and played along.
“I had tears in my eyes because I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
Mari was also too ashamed to let David see her naked or have sex. Her self-esteem hit rock bottom and when Bobby was seven months old she asked David to move out.
She says: “I knew it was me. I was so moody all the time, picking arguments and fights. David just couldn’t win.
“Deep down I knew it was because I hated myself because of my weight and was taking it out on him.”
Mari realised food had become her emotional crutch so she joined Cambridge Weight Plan – a meal replacement diet – so she could remove the temptation.
She says: “At that point I was like a food addict and like many addicts I felt the best solution for me was to remove it from the picture because I knew otherwise I would fail.
“There was too much riding on this for me to fail so I knew I had to get strict.
“I loved David and wanted Bobby to grow up with his father.
“I lost 8lbs in the first week by switching junk for calorie-controlled soups, shakes and bars.
“I knew then I could do it and I would do it for David and Bobby.
“I was so relieved. I felt this was our new start.”
Nine weeks after starting the plan David moved home and their sex life got back on track.
But in January 2015, when Bobby had just turned one and Mari was almost back down to 12st, she was shocked to discover she was pregnant again.
Mari says: “I was on the Pill and totally unprepared. I loved David so there was no question we were having our baby.
“But I was utterly distraught at the thought of gaining all that weight again when I’d only just managed to lose it.
“I felt so sick and tired with the pregnancy so I ate anything I thought might help me feel better. Then when I saw the weight coming back on, I ate for comfort.”
When Ivy Rose was born in September 2015 Mari’s weight had ballooned to 18st again.
She says: “I felt awful and recognised the same feelings of despair coming back. This time I was desperate for my weight not to come between us again.
“I knew what I had to do to lose it – I keep it off.”
Mari went back on Cambridge Weight Plan again in January 2016 and lost seven and half stone and dropped from a size 22 to a size 10 in just six months.
She maintained her weight with healthy meals and exercise and became a slimming consultant but she was tormented by the fear of falling pregnant again.
She says: “I felt I would not be able to cope with going through that again so it was easier to avoid sex than risk getting pregnant and fat again.
“I was on the Pill but as it had failed before what’s to say it wouldn’t fail again?
“I felt awful turning David down but I knew I could not put my body or mind through it again. It almost destroyed our family last time.
“I eventually sat David down and told him that after all we had been through because of my size I couldn’t face getting fat again.
“I asked him would he consider having a vasectomy as I felt that was the only way I would ever relax. He was shocked but agreed to think about it.”
Last June David bravely went under the knife and their sex life is better than ever.
Mari says: “Ever since, our sex life has been amazing. Thanks to losing weight I’ve got my confidence back and thanks to David’s snip I plan to keep it that way.
“It might sound extreme but it’s worked for us. I joke that it’s the ultimate diet tip.”
David says: “I was shocked when Mari asked me to have a vasectomy. It isn’t something I thought I would ever do. We were using birth control but she still couldn’t relax because she was worried it would fail again.
“I love Mari whatever size and weight she is. But when she was at her heaviest she was so unhappy, life was unbearable.
“My family is my world so of course I want Mari to be happy. The fear of falling pregnant and putting weight on was very real for her and when she explained it I could understand.
“That’s why I agreed. Since losing weight her confidence is back and life is wonderful for us and our children. That to me is more important than anything.
“I didn’t want to do anything to risk that so in the end I decided I would do it.
“Of course I was nervous, what bloke wouldn’t be, but it wasn’t that bad. Mari put her body through a lot to have children so I suppose it was my turn.
“Since the operation it’s made a real difference to her and I’m really pleased I did it. I’m a very happy man now, put it that way.”