16st actress shows off weight loss after fear of being typecast as ‘big girl’

An aspiring actress who needed a seatbelt extension on a rollercoaster and feared being typecast in ‘big girl’ roles has lost a massive five stone.

Charlotte Randall, 19, revealed she had stretchmarks all over her body after her weight ballooned to 15st 10lbs.

She stopped eating in public out of worry she would be branded greedy and began to starve herself.

Charlotte was left humiliated at Thorpe Park when a rollercoaster seatbelt would not fit over her size 18 frame.

The teenager always dreamt of studying performing arts at university but feared that at nearly 16st she’d spend her life confined to ‘big girl’ roles.

Eventually Charlotte confided in her mum about her crippling body confidence issues ahead of an upcoming beach holiday.

Her mum persuaded her to join Slimming World with her and she swapped her diet of chocolate and takeaways for salad and stir fry.

Now, a year and a half after joining, Charlotte has been named Slimming World’s young slimmer of the year 2018.

Charlotte’s mum and brother are also Slimming World members and the trio have lost a total of 13 stone between them.

Now she finally feels confident enough to pursue her life-long ambition of singing and dancing on stage.

Charlotte, from Worthing in West Sussex, says: “My weight held me back a lot in my college studies.

"I was always the shy one hiding at the back in baggy clothes, and I’d never put myself forward for roles.

"Now I attend extra dance lessons outside of college and even had the confidence to take part in a dance competition recently.”

The 5ft 10in part-time student, who also works in retail, says she was always the biggest and tallest in her class throughout primary and secondary school.

However, it was in her teenage years that she really began to worry about her weight after she gained 4st 7lbs in 12 months when she met her partner of two years, Scott Miller.

She says: “I gained the weight so quickly that I had stretchmarks all over my body.

"I was so embarrassed and ashamed. Hating my body absolutely consumed me and I’d spend hours looking up ways to lose weight online.

"I didn’t like eating in public because I thought people would think I was greedy, so would often starve myself all day and only eat when I got home and was alone or with just my boyfriend.”

Charlotte suffered numerous embarrassing incidents because of her weight including her trousers ripping in public and being given a seatbelt extension on a rollercoaster at Thorpe Park because the belt couldn’t close.

Secretly Charlotte, who is a vegetarian, tried fasting, shakes and other quick fixes to slim down.

However, everything she tried left her feeling so hungry that she’d soon give up, and she usually ended up gaining more weight than she lost.

After booking a holiday abroad though, Charlotte was so worried about feeling uncomfortable on the beach that she confided in her mum Petula Bladen, who was a member of Slimming World, about the way she was feeling and agreed to join her at their local group.

Charlotte says: “It was really hard for me in the beginning because I was only 17 and the youngest in the group.

"I was embarrassed because I felt that I shouldn’t have let myself get to this point at such a young age.

"I shouldn’t have worried though because everyone was so friendly.

"Now I absolutely love going to Slimming World every week and I really enjoy hearing how everyone else has got on.

"My consultant Robyn has been amazing too – I like that she doesn’t just talk to us about food, she really cares about why losing weight is so important to us. It’s not just about how we look but how we feel too.”

While Charlotte has lost 4st 10lbs, dropping from 15st 10lbs to 11st and a size 18/20 to a 10/12, she says it’s the change on the inside that’s most dramatic.

Not only is she more confident in her singing, dancing and acting, she also feels more comfortable talking to people, doesn’t hate looking in the mirror anymore, enjoys going out with Scott more and loves shopping.

Charlotte has also conquered her fear of activity: “I used to hate anything sporty because it would make me red and sweaty and I was too ashamed of my size to go to a gym – I thought everyone would stare or laugh at me, but now I’ve joined a gym and I love it. It makes me feel strong.”

Her weight loss has inspired others too, with Charlotte’s brother James, 20, joining his mum and sister at Slimming World – and between them they’ve lost a total of nearly 13 stone.

Charlotte says: “Wednesday night is our family night now. We go to Slimming World and then we have a healthy meal together. I love it.

“People are always amazed at how much I eat now and I’ve definitely learned that following a healthy and balanced plan is a much better way to lose weight than starving myself.

"I used to work in a fast-food restaurant so I’d often snack on junk food, which made me feel sluggish and bloated.

"Now I snack on fruit and love cooking homemade curries and stir-fries.

"I have so much more energy, and I’m achieving my goals without feeling hungry or guilty about what I’m eating.”

Since being named Slimming World’s young slimmer of the year 2018, Charlotte hopes to motivate lots more people, especially young people.

She says: “Being overweight as a young person can be very difficult and something I wish no one had to go through, so if I can inspire just one person to make a change I’ll be very happy.

"Losing weight isn’t a fix for all of life’s problems, but it’s a great start and losing weight has certainly changed things for me and my family.”

Charlotte’s menu before joining Slimming World

Before menu

Breakfast: No breakfast

Mid-morning: Crisps

Lunch: Fast food meal

Mid-afternoon: Chocolate bar

Dinner: Takeaway pizza

Evening: More chocolate

After menu

Breakfast: Porridge topped with fresh fruit

Mid-morning: A fat-free yogurt

Lunch: A jacket potato with salad

Mid-afternoon: Fresh fruit, including mango and pineapple

Dinner: Home-made curry or stir-fry

Evening: A small chocolate bar

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