By John Balson @JJBalson

THEY say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach

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Videographer / Director: Rob Buenaventura
Producer: John Balson, Chloe Browne
Editor: Ian Phillips, Sonia Estal

Belly laughs: Gayla posing on her sofa at home in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

But 52-year-old Gayla Neufeld has done the opposite - using her own incredible EIGHT FOOT belly to find love.

The hungry housewife spent years fighting the flab but now uses it to entice men from around the world, including latest hubby, Lance.

The happy couple have even used Gayla's 96-inch asset to launch her new career - as an international webcam model.

She said: "Growing up I used to be ashamed of my belly but now I have a great following of men who really like it.

"There have been men from all over the world. I have had doctors, lawyers and even bodybuilders, lots of bodybuilders, approach me, which really amazed me.

"They tell me it's the perfect belly. They say it’s not marred or scarred and that they love the shape of it because it is a single belly. Some larger women they have a double-layer or a two-tier belly but mine is a single. That is really attractive to a lot of men."

Family affair: Gayla's maternal great-grandmother also gained weight around her belly
Weight expectations: A photograph of Gayla, who struggled with diets for years, in 1989

Thirty-stone Gayla wasn’t always so body-confident and for years she struggled to deal with her family's unusual genetic legacy.

"Women in my family have always gained weight around the belly, especially after having children,” said Gayla, whose favourite foods are homemade cookies and ice-cream.

“My mum was fat and my favourite sister was fat, as were my grandparents, my grandmother and my great-grandmother. 

"Growing up, kids at school would point and laugh at me and say 'boom, boom, boom' with every step I took.

“I was really ashamed to be fat."

Aged eight Gayla already weighed a whopping 13st and continued to pile on even more weight in her teens.

One doctor even prescribed her amphetamines to curb her sweet-tooth but it failed and made her even more depressed.

Her burgeoning curves made her popular with boys at high-school and Gayla had many admirers - but she was too embarrassed at the thought of being naked.

Love at first bite: Gayla and Lance have been happily married for nine years since meeting on a forum called Bulge Chat

Despite her body issues she eventually married at 19 and embarked on a mission to battle the bulge.

But instead of maintaining any weight loss she found herself hovering between 300 and 400lb.

Her wavering confidence was further diminished when her husband said he was embarrassed by her weight and they divorced in 1999.

It was at rock-bottom that Gayla discovered an online community of obese women calling themselves SSBBWs - meaning super-sized big beautiful women.

These curvaceous women - some in excess of 600lb - were worshipped by legions of men calling themselves fat admirers.

Size matters: Gayla's eight foot tummy has been described by many of her fans as the perfect belly
Teeny-tiny: Gayla at a high-school party in 1979

Curious to know more, Gayla joined a forum called Bulge Chat and soon found herself overwhelmed with lusty fans.

She said: "I realised I was desirable, I was sexy, I was beautiful and I became confident in who I was.

"I had always thought the men who liked BBWs would be geeks in their mom's basement but I was totally wrong."

Despite having her pick it was rugged truck driver Lance Neufield, 54, who really caught her attention.

After meeting on Bulge Chat they enjoyed two 15-minute conversations and struck up an instant rapport.

Lance told her he was driving to Texas with work the following week and they agreed to meet at a truck stop and have dinner. 

Gayla agreed despite vowing never to fall for anyone again - and found swept off her feet by the Canadian.

All smiles: An old photograph of Gayla taken in 1977
Titanic tummy: Gayla's incredible belly measures 8ft around or 96 inches

She said: "When he pulled up and I saw him I was like 'oh my god, he is so cute, so cute'. 

"He got in the car and he said to me, 'your pictures online do you no justice'. I was like 'aww, that’s so sweet' and I just blushed.

"Years later I found out that his computer didn’t produce very good pictures, but it's okay, it still made me feel good at the time.

“We had our first dinner and got a bottle of Champagne afterwards and rented the General’s Daughter and The Thomas Crown Affair.

“We didn’t get through any of those movies because we stayed up all night talking and smooching on the couch like a couple of kids.

"I was sad when he had to go."

They embarked on a long-distance relationship before Gayla agreed to move to Manitoba, Canada, to be with Lance - and they married six years later.

Latest squeeze: Gayla and Lance Neufeld have been happily married for nine years
Body positive: Gayla struggled for years to accept her shape but says she is now happier than ever

Despite her size, they claim to enjoy an 'active and satisfying sex-life’ though Gayla’s weight causes other day-to-day obstacles.

She struggles to shop for clothes that fit around her 96-inch belly and must use a motorised cart if required to walk long distances.

Getting into a car is also an ordeal and she must book two seats on an aeroplane when flying.

She has a range of health issues including arthritis and thyroid problems, but remains upbeat about the future.

She said: "As far as the health aspects go, I don’t really worry about them. My mother is still alive and she is 82. 

“I have had doctors tell me more then once that I needed to lose weight for health reasons but I truly believe that when it is your time to go, it is your time to go.”

Lance, who has three children from a previous relationship, has always been attracted to Gayla’s supersize paunch but wouldn’t stand in her way if she attempted to lose weight.

He said: "This woman is the love of my life. I would 100 per cent support her if she decided to lose weight. 

“The first thing that attracted me to her was she had the most beautiful face I had ever seen. 

“The belly was just the bonus on top of all her other beauty. 

“It doesn't matter to me whether it is bigger or smaller because it's not really her belly I love - I love her."

With Lance's continuing support Gayla is planning to continue her modelling career and win over even more fans.

She said: "I allowed the world to dictate to me what I was supposed to look like and who I was supposed to be. By taking a body-positive image I have empowered myself to be who I am and to enjoy my life.

"I’m not going to tell you that I never have bad days and I am not going to tell you that I don’t wish I was thin from time to time, but mostly I just enjoy being me. 

“You've got to love who you are."