Top UK slimmer loses nearly half her body weight

16/08/10

Kelly Meager

Student Kelly Meager has lost nearly half her body weight after being so low about her size she felt like her room was a prison.

The 21-year-old has just been crowned Slimming World's Young Slimmer of the Year after losing 10½ stone in the last 21 months.

She's gone down seven dress sizes and says she now loves shopping after previously dreading it.

At the age of 19 Kelly weighed 23½ stone and suffered from health problems usually found in people three times her age.

Kelly's previous diet

    • Breakfast: Three all-butter croissants
    • Lunch: Cheese and tomato white bread sandwich with mayo, crisps
    • Dinner: Takeaway or ready meal
    • Drinks: Full fat cola, orange squash, apple juice
    • Snacks: Crisps, chocolate

She told Newsbeat: "I was at my heaviest when I went to university.

"Living on my own for the first time I was 23½ stone, the heaviest I've ever been.

"I was the one in charge of buying food and cooking for myself but I didn't really know how to cook. I didn't know how to turn an oven on.

"I was living on microwave meals for dinner and takeaway food. It tasted good so I ate it. I didn't even think about healthy eating really.

"I was just a continuous snacker. I don't think I was ever really hungry but I was addicted to food."

The problems started for Kelly when she was bullied at school for being overweight and as a result she ate more and more.

I'd suffered bullying when I was younger and food became a comfort but it also became a vicious cycle. You ate because you were unhappy and then you were unhappy because you ate so much
Kelly Meager

She was mortified when her doctor couldn't even fit the cuff onto her arm to check her blood pressure and had to use one that was meant for a thigh.

"I never really used to touch fruit and veg but I think it was an emotional thing as well," she admitted.

"I'd suffered bullying when I was younger and food became a comfort but it also became a vicious cycle.

"You ate because you were unhappy and then you were unhappy because you ate so much."

'Horrified'

Kelly hoped the situation would improve when she started at university but seeing photos of her online after her first night out made her realise how bad things had got.

She said: "We all went to a bin bag party and everyone had to make their outfit from a bin bag. But I couldn't wear one because I couldn't find a bin bag big enough.

Kelly's new diet

    • Breakfast: scrambled eggs and lean bacon
    • Lunch: Half-fat cheddar cheese sandwich on wholemeal, fat-free yoghurt
    • Dinner: Pasta with lean bacon or chicken breast and stir fry vegetables
    • Drinks: Diet cola, sugar-free orange squash
    • Snacks: Yoghurt or fruit

"That was bad, but when I saw the pictures the next day on Facebook I was horrified - I looked huge. I started refusing offers to go out and my room became my prison.

"I stopped going out. I'd go to uni, do my work and just go back to my room and eat.

"I didn't feel normal or young. I felt like I was missing out on other things that other people were doing. That was the last straw for me."

Kelly's weight loss plan involved swapping a diet of takeaways, fizzy drinks and crisps for healthier dishes like pasta mixed with fresh vegetables.

She joined a gym and started exercising more and in the first month she lost a stone.

The fine art student says she now plans on training to become a teacher, something she would never have considered before.

She said: "I feel like a totally new person. It's mindblowing to think that I've lost more than the weight of my 20-year-old sister.

"I finally feel young. I'm loving life for the first time ever and have probably added years to my life too so I want to make the most it."