'I'm married to a fitness instructor… but I'm too fat to work!' 30st mother has claimed 30,000 in sickness benefitsWendy Phillips admits to spending two decades eating junk foodMother-of-three claimed benefits since leaving care home job five years agoHusband Sean is qualified gym instructor and said to be 'disappointed''I was greedy and ate
too many sausage rolls' says Wendy who wants gastric band surgery to cut life-threatening BMI of 76.8
00:02 GMT, 13 March 2013
10:14 GMT, 13 March 2013
They say opposites attract. So fitness instructor Sean Phillips must be very attracted to his wife Wendy who tips the scales at 30 stone and claims that she is too fat to earn a living.
46-year-old Wendy admits to spending two decades eating junk food and has claimed around 30,000 in sickness benefits since she had to leave her job working in a care home five years ago.
The mother-of-three from Barnstaple in Devon has a life-threatening BMI of 76.8 (18-25 is healthy) and says the only way she can lose weight is for the NHS to pay for gastric surgery.
Wendy Phillips and her husband Sean at their home in Barnstable, Devon. Wendy is so overweight that she is too fat to work despite husband Sean working as a fitness instructor
Incredibly, her husband Sean is a qualified fitness instructor who goes
to the gym three times a week and ran a marathon last year.
But 5ft 2in Wendy claims that she can’t exercise or diet despite his expertise.
In an interview with Closer magazine she says: 'Sean’s advised me about nutrition and exercise, but I don’t have as
much willpower as him. I’m sensitive about my weight so he doesn’t push
Wendy, who was a size 16 before she fell pregnant at 21 and now wears a dress size 36, maintains that the only way she will slim is if the NHS pays for a gastric bypass, which can cost up to 15,000.
Wendy and husband Sean pictured with her granddaughter. Wendy maintains that the only way she will slim is if the NHS pays for a gastric bypass, which can cost up to 15,000
The NHS has refused funding because she hasn't proved that she us willing to change her lifestyle, and Wendy claims that this is unfair.
She says: 'I know I’ve been stupid – now I’m too fat to work. I was greedy and ate
too many sausage rolls.
The full interview appears in this week's Closer magazine
'But it’s too late for me to help myself now. I
try to diet, but exercise is painful.
'I worked and paid my
taxes for 20 years, so I didn’t expect the NHS to shut the door in my
'If they don’t help me, I’ll die. Taxpayers see fat people as a
burden, but alcoholics get help. I’m being treated unfairly.'
Amazingly Wendy has only attempted to diet once since she left her job five years ago – so she could fit in to her wedding dress.
She says: 'I lost 3st by cutting down on carbs and going for walks but despite dropping to 22st and my back pain improving, I was 28st again
within a year.
'Sean was disappointed, but accepted I didn’t have the
'People would look at me disapprovingly in the street, but Sean told me to ignore them.'
adds: 'I’m ashamed I haven’t been able to work and I’ve claimed so much
in benefits. I wish I could stick to diets, but some people just don’t
have self- control – it’s not our fault.'
Read the full story in this week’s Closer magazine on sale now.