Too depressed to eat, too weak to exercise and frightened of sex, Josie Gibson reveals how being single has ruined her life

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Just under six months ago, Josie Gibson seemed really happy. The former Big Brother winner burst into our photography studio for a New Year shoot as bright and bubbly as ever. She was just about to launch her own business, looking into fostering a child with her boyfriend Luke Sanwo, 26, and brimming with excitement at what the future held. Now, things couldn’t be more different. ‘I feel I’m destined to be alone. I’m not an easy person to love,’ says Josie, 30, following her shock split from her fiancé almost three months ago. ‘It’s just been really, really sad.’ After breaking up with the ‘kindest boyfriend I’ve ever had’ and becoming too depressed to eat and
exercise, Josie reveals therapy is her essential next step to finding love again.

How’s life been since we last met, Josie?
Stressful. I’ve been through a break-up, I’m trying to run two businesses and I’m now my nan’s full-time carer so I’m trying to get the house equipped for her and her wheelchair.

How long has it been since you split with Luke?
Around 10 weeks, but it feels like just yesterday. We both love each other still ­ in a friend way, though. It just wasn’t there any more.

Are you still in touch?
He stayed living with me in the spare room for a while. He says he feels more in control of his life now he’s found his own place and moved out. He never really felt comfortable with the attention I’d get when we were out.

What was it like when he finally left?
I was screaming: ‘You don’t love me!’ and started throwing his things out the window. Only old work clothes, though ­ I didn’t have the heart to throw nice things. I knew it was for the best, but it just crushed me. I hate rejection.

How did you feel when the door closed behind him?
I started panicking and kept repeating: ‘How am I going to cope on my own?’ Life’s easier when you have a partner. I’m from a family of eight and I’ve always lived with someone. I couldn’t sleep once he left. I really suffer with insomnia when I’m stressed. I’d just lie there all
night.

Are you sleeping better now?
Yeah. I got a lodger before my nan moved in because my house is too big for just me. A couple of months before Luke left I had a stalker who’d circle the house all the time, which frightened me. I had to get the police involved. He’d always come at times when I’d be in a towel or just out of the shower and he knew I’d be alone. I was actually scared at one point, so it’s nice to have people around.

So now you’ve got your nan ­ but being a carer must be hard?
I never realised how bad she was. It’s a lot of pressure. She’s just got out of prison after doing a three-year sentence following 12 years on the run.

What was she inside for?
She was caught with loads of drugs. I think she was stitched up. I took her to the shop last week and it was her first time in one for 15 years. She just sat by the cheese counter for an hour tasting everything ­ she couldn’t believe it.

How have you been coping?
I try to keep myself as busy as possible every minute of the day. I’d be forgetting to eat and drink I’d be so busy with everything.

How much were you eating?
I was like a sparrow, just eating the bare minimum because I was so depressed.

Did it affect your weight?
Half a stone dropped off. I’d only eat one meal a day and I’ve never had less than three in my life.

Were you still working out, too?
I didn’t have enough energy, which got me even more depressed. I get very anxious when I don’t work out. I’d cycle to and from work each day, which was around eight miles, but I started feeling faint and I’d get dizzy when I stood up.

Did you fear you’d develop an eating disorder?
No. When you split with someone you don’t eat or you eat loads.

Was there anyone you could turn to?
No, not really. I’m not like that. I’d hate for anyone to feel sorry for
me, so I just hide it and crack on.

After your incredible 6st weight loss, how did you feel when Luke told you he didn’t find you as sexy any more before you split?
I knew he liked bigger women, but I’ve always wanted to lose the weight. To finally do it and have him say that to me was gutting. I’d never go back to how I was, though. Even if I met the man of my dreams and he said he wanted me bigger, I just wouldn’t. I got a whole new lease of life once I’d lost the weight ­ everything was easier.

Surely your new body had some perks for Luke?
I thought it was better in the bedroom, but we hardly ever did it. I can’t remember the last time I had sex. Now the thought of it really frightens me. When you’ve been with the same bloke for so long and then there’s someone new, it’s awkward. Even the idea of snogging someone new scares
me, in case I start comparing.

Wow! How long has it been?
Put it this way, if there are any men reading this I’m basically a born-again virgin!

Would you say you’re ready for another relationship?
No. I think I’m a very difficult person to love and I don’t know if There’s anyone out there for me. I feel I’m destined to be on my own.

Why do you feel like that?
I’ve had three relationships with men in my whole life and none of them ever truly loved me. I’m not very emotional either, like girly girls. As I’ve got older I’ve become more emotionally detached each time so I don’t get as hurt.

Would you see a therapist?
I’ve been looking at counselling and therapy online and I’ll see someone about it. When I’m with someone, I don’t feel like I have the respect for them I should. I think it stems from my childhood. I don’t get upset, just angry.

What happened during your childhood?
I think it just was seeing my mum in so many really bad, abusive relationships.

Did Luke ever notice any of this?
He always said I was like an angry lesbian. I’m not sure why.

Could you be a lesbian?
If someone told me I could happily spend the rest of my life with a woman, I would. I’m not bisexual and I don’t mean that in a sexual way ­ I just feel I’m more suited to women. They’d be more loyal.

Last time we spoke, you were considering fostering with Luke. Would you consider that alone?
No. We said we’d foster because we wanted to give someone else a good life, like I’ve been lucky enough to have, but we never, ever wanted children together. It’s weird because when you meet someone at my age that should be the first thing on your mind.

Do you feel you’re over the worst now following the break-up?
Yeah. I’ve started eating again and instantly put on a stone! I felt sexy when I was really, really slim, but I’m at my happy medium right now. I’m back to going to the gym three times a week and riding my bike, too.

Are you happy with your weight?
I’ll never have the best body because I was 17st 7lb. But it’s weird ­ as I’m getting older and my body changes, my weight’s starting to carry in different places. It’s going from my legs to my tummy. But I’m enjoying it.

Subscribe to Josie’s diet and fitness website at slimmables.com