After months of speculation and drama, Gabriella Lindley has finally spoke out about how she lost a dramatic amount of weight in a 25-minute long vlog. In the video, she recounts all the trouble she has been through to achieve the ‘perfect body’, including up to six different surgical procedures that she had over the past 18 months. Disclaimer: This article contains imagery and description of surgical procedures which some readers may find distressing.
The confessional starts off with Gabby giving her fans a warning about the type of video they’re about to watch; “I’m going to talk to you about my weight loss journey, and it does involve some things that you probably wouldn’t think it would involve”. In fact, regular weight loss tactics such as dieting and exercise do not make many appearances in Gabriella’s journey. She even goes so far to say that diets are “so stupid… I don’t agree with diets at all” as they make the dieter conscious of their weight 24/7. So instead, Gabby took a more serious and dramatic direction to lose eight stone – liposuction.
Starting when she was a teenager and just beginning puberty, Gabriella reveals that she began to “pile on weight… I would just get bigger and bigger”. She was bullied at school, and in some cases was even spat on and told to kill herself. Her first step in this journey led her to a dietitian, who for two years put Gabby on a meal and gym plan. However, when she started falling into depression, Gabby started “feeding my soul and putting happiness into my body” by binge eating food – so her dietitian prescribed her diet pills. “These were pills where if you ate more than three grams of fat in a meal it would go through you and sh*t the fat out”, but, as Gabby, reveals, she abused them by taking up to five at a time and gorging on fatty foods knowing that it would be flushed straight out her body.
At 19 stone, Gabby was first referred to a surgeon to receive an operation that would later “save my life… it was the best thing I’ve ever done”. After being recommended numerous options, she decided the best operation to have would be a gastric sleeve, where doctors “cut a big portion of your stomach off and sow the rest together” to form a smaller, slender organ. Her first operation, which happened back in 2012, is the reason Gabby was able to lose the eight stone she has boasted about since she rose to popularity on YouTube, but equally, she remembers about how terrible the recovery process was, “I was living on a tiny bit of soup everyday”.
Whilst the surgery was a success, all the weight went off her top half, leaving her body grossly disproportionate – “my top half was a 12, and my bottom was a 16 to 18”. Over the course of the next 18 months (this was the era in which Gabby was BFF’s with Zoella), she would exercise desperately hard to shift the weight and hide it under three layers of Spanx and tights (even in the summer!) to cover her embarrassment. This, Gabby states, is down to Lipoedema, a medical condition in which unmovable “bands of fat” would settle on her hips, thighs and stomach and would never shift regardless of how much exercise she did. This is when her next operation came in.
Gabby’s surgeon stated that the only way to shift the weight from her bottom half was liposuction, about which she leaves research papers underneath her video for fans to read and familiarise themselves with. In January 2015, Gabriella underwent her second operation in which she had liposuction on her hips and tops of her thighs. Whilst the results were eventually “incredible”, she ended up in the hospital for 10 days as she became severely anaemic. After having six litres of fat removed from her body, the doctors then gave her two pints of blood back in a transfusion because of her dangerously low haemoglobin levels, which “got to the point that I could have died”. This happened because, thanks to her gastric sleeve, Gabby could not eat or drink enough nutrients to help her body recover from losing so much weight in her surgery.
After nearly two weeks of slow recovery, Gabby was offered a second blood transfusion but she refused it and instead decided to go home with a large dosage of iron tablets. Three months later (the length of a surgical healing process), Gabby was ready for her third operation to remove all of the excess and saggy skin from her stomach thanks to the weight loss (scar seen in the picture below). This “abdominoplasty” or tummy tuck worked so well that a few months later she went back for a “bilateral thigh lift” in August 2015 on her legs and thighs – operation number four. Whilst that operation did “a lot for the overhanging skin on my thighs”, it was by far the worst surgical procedure overall as the operation involved cutting her legs open down to the knee, sucking out all the fat and then sowing her legs back together, much tighter and smaller than before – “that operation was HORRENDOUS”.
In order to avoid embarrassment and make sure that nobody knew she was recovering from surgery, Gabriella’s vlogs continued without any mention of her trauma. Even though she “couldn’t physically walk”, she wanted everyone to assume things were totally normal to make sure nobody caught on to her suffering. However, even though she was going through turmoil, when she recovered she moved onto the fifth operation which we all already know about – the boob job. Even before Gabby began her weight loss journey, she “always knew” she wanted to have a boob job, so she went ahead and had a “double mastectomy” AND “extended brachioplasty” at the same time. For the boob job, she had the excess skin removed and implants put in to improve their appearance, whilst the brachioplasty solved her “bingo wing” problems by cutting them off and tightening the skin. Gabby says that this operation is the main reason this video was made.
Thanks to the prominent scars on her upper arms, Gabby “still can’t wear tops I want to wear… just in case people see these scars on my arms”, so she made this video to finally come clean. This fifth operation happened back in December 2015, but the bright red scars going from under her boobs, up her side and under the arms are “the scars I hate the moment… I’m quite embarrassed about them”. And so, with her boobs, belly, legs and arms sorted, Gabriella only needed one more surgery “to complete my body transformation”. On March the 2nd (so she’s still recovering from this operation whilst she filmed this video!), Gabby had her sixth and most recent operation, a “posterior abdominoplasty”.
As she still had a lot of lipoedema on her back and above her bum, her last operation saw doctors “basically cut my back open, do a lot of lipo to get rid of the fat, cut off a huge chuck of skin and then sow it back up”. Only a month after this surgery was performed, Gabby is “still recovering from it… which obviously no one knows about” until now and so she has uploaded and addressed her operations because she gets “a lot of sh*t” for not going out a lot. Thanks to the fact she has suffered through 18 months worth of operations and recovery periods that have been kept hidden, Gabby has been getting a lot of hate online for the quality of her vlogs, with some viewers attacking her recently for wearing pyjamas all day everyday – it all makes perfect sense now.
Now, at the end of the revealing video, Gabriella now hopes that she “can finally get on with living my life”. She doesn’t want to be embarrassed about her weight loss journey and wants her fans to know that she “paid for everything out of her own money”, but she still has mental problems to deal with over the next few months. Whilst all of her excess fat is gone from her body now, Gabby recognises that she still need to tone up and exercise correctly to look after her body, but she speaks clearly to viewers potentially suffering with the same problems at home to “definitely go and talk to your doctor if you think you’re having problems”.
Since the video was uploaded, Gabby has received a ton of support from fans, friends and fellow YouTubers and she even seems far more positive and happier on social media thanks to finally getting all of the secrets out of her mind. For fans who are more curious about her gastric sleeve operation, Gabby has since posted on Twitter more information about the process and recovery. But if you want to ask her more questions, use the trend #AskGabbie on Twitter as she will be vlogging all month long (April) and is happy to answer any more thoughts you have following the video.