Charlotte Mears, 27, from Buckinghamshire, had always been slim and was a regular at the gym.
But, as her social life expanded in her early twenties, so did her waistline as she skipped the gym in favour of restaurant dinners or takeaways with friends.
By 24, she had ballooned to a size 18, and weighed in at 14st 12lb, which on her 5ft6in frame put her Body Mass Index at 33.5 – classified as obese by the NHS, which considers between 18.5 and 24.9 to be healthy.
Fed up with feeling “sluggish and uncomfortable,” Charlotte vowed to change, slimming down to 9st 1lb and now wearing a size eight.
She said: “I was tired of feeling unhealthy, so I looked up other weight loss stories on Instagram and felt really inspired.
“I know people say you should be happy whatever size you are, but I wasn’t.
“Now, I feel much better. I’ve got much more energy, and feel like I can always be on the go.”
Explaining how she piled on the weight, Charlotte said: “I loved going out for Chinese. My favourite was crispy chilli beef or satay chicken.
“I’d be out for dinner twice a week, then cooking unhealthily, too. I wasn’t exercising and just eating more and more.”
Eventually, wearing a size 16-18, her confidence hit an all-time low. Then around two years ago, inspired by dieters on Instagram, she vowed to change – joining Slimming World and, rather than going out for dinner, enjoying five or six mile walks with friends every week.
Next, she completely overhauled her diet, swapping fatty convenience food for fresh ingredients.
Now, she usually eats porridge and fruit for breakfast, chicken and vegetables for lunch and a healthy home-cooked meal like vegetable chilli con carne for dinner.
And there is one other addition Charlotte has made to her diet to help lose weight.
She revealed: “I drink about five litres of water a day, too, and snack on lots of fruit or smoothies.”
Charlotte has also reignited her passion for the gym, working out five nights a week. Around six months ago, she upped her routine and now does 15 minutes of sprints on the treadmill, 10 to 20 minutes on the stair climber machine and lifts weights.
Sharing her advice for others wanting to lose weight, she said: “Just take it day by day, meal by meal, and if you slip up, don’t punish yourself too hard – just try and get back on track.
“It’s best to start out with something sustainable, and sociable. I did it by walking with my friends as I knew that was something I could realistically keep up.”
Published at Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:34:00 +0000