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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Fat Boy/Slim

When he tipped the scales at almost 30 stone,Christian Cook decided there was only one way for him to lose weight – with a surgical gastric bypass. Now a year later, the charity worker from South Wales may have shed 16 stone, but it’s had a devastating effect on his body and knocked his confidence. Here, Christian, 29, tells us why he felt an operation was his only option, and about the pitfalls of relying on the surgeon’s knife to change your body.

I was always a bit heavier than the other kids at school, but it never bothered me or my friends. I lived with my mum and my sister, and we were just like any other ordinary single-parent family. Then I had my accident.

In 1993, when I was seven-years-old, I was playing on a roundabout in a park. But it hadn’t been maintained properly and, as I got off it, part of the structure broke and dragged me underneath it. It crushed my left foot and my big toe was broken in 17 places – it was like hitting a Crunchie bar with a hammer.

Instantly, my mobility became restricted. I couldn’t support myself to run, I couldn’t do much sport or activity and, from then onwards, my weight increased. While the other kids were out playing and burning off calories, I was at home watching TV. It became normal that I’d have friends who went out and did stuff while I stayed at home and ate.

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Joe McElderry gives GT an insight into his indomitable nature. Winning the X-Factor was just the beginning of his success story. You can also read about how he faced down body-shaming tabloids. There's also an video exclusive to this digital edition featuring 'backstage' footage from his photo-shoot. Also in this issue: Kele Okereke tells us about Bloc Party's new album. Boy George. Why are we STILL fighting homophobia? Andy Bell. Tab Hunter. Profile on Lynne Featherstone. The gay TV Characters you need to know. Danny Young. Seann Miley Moore. How much does online dating really cost? Max Emerson. Travel special featuring New York State, Cologne Vatican City, and the top 14 destinations to visit in 2016. And don't forget all our regular features: Fitness with Charlie King with Chris Jones. Date night with Edd Kimber and the Gastro Gays. Ask Aled. Dear Josh. Michelle Visage. Benjamin Cohen. Michael Alig. Modern Family. Positive Luke. PJ Brennan. The Guyliner. Last but not least, enjoy bonus videos and images exclusive to this digital edition.