A student who each day gorged on crisps, cake, chocolate and takeaways has shown off her extraordinary weight loss.
Claudia Whittam, 24, was addicted to Domino’s Two-for-Tuesday pizza deal piled on so much weight her doctors warned her knees could buckle.
She was also warned she could be left infertile because of her unhealthy lifestyle, the Liverpool Echo reports.
After ballooning to a 22/24 dress size Claudia was given a rude awakening by doctors.
She said she would "look forward" to Tuesdays so she could order two large 14 inch pizzas for the price of one – and wolf down both in one sitting.
Health professionals warned her if she continued her unhealthy ways not only could she need knee replacements in later life, but could also be left infertile.
And it was at that point that Claudia vowed to change her lifestyle and shed the pounds and to date has lost a whopping NINE STONE 3lbs.
Claudia from Formby said: "I had always struggled with my weight ever since I was in primary school.
“My Mum was the same and was keen for me not to go through the same problems.
“She would tell the dinner ladies not to give me second and third helpings at lunch time and tried to make me eat healthily, but I think having watched her with her weight it was inevitable that I would also struggle.”
Throughout her teenage years and in to her twenties Claudia continued to pile on the pounds and said she would “pretty much eat everything she shouldn’t”.
She said: “I wouldn’t eat breakfast, I would just snack on chocolates and cakes and lunch was like cheese paninis or cheesy pasta’s- I don’t think I had anything without cheese on.
“I was Domino’s most loyal customer and would order every Tuesday because it was buy one get one free.
“So I would order two large pizzas, either pepperoni and ham and pineapple or margarita and tuna and sweetcorn.
“I would tell my mum that I would keep one for tomorrow, but would then end up eating both in one night.”
Claudia – who works part time at a financial advisory firm – said on her way home from work, she would stock up on junk food and then scoff the fatty treats before her tea.
She said: “My mum used to say I was addicted to crisps because I would eat two to three big packets a day.
“If we ran out in the house I would have to go and buy some more.
“Every night I would call in at Tesco and stock up on crisps, sweets and chocolate and then go home, put my pjs on and eat them all.
“And that was as well as eating my tea which would probably be pizza or something with cheese.”
But her bad habits soon began to take their toll on Claudia who, aged 19, dropped out of university and became almost a recluse.
She said: “I was so unhappy in myself.
“I wasn’t wanting to go out anywhere because I hated having to get dressed up as I knew nothing was going to fit me.
“I basically became a recluse.
“I was suffering with really low moods and was just in a really bad place.
“I just couldn’t do anything I wanted to do, even going up stairs was a struggle and I wouldn’t be able to walk for long periods of time because my legs would hurt from carrying around my weight.”
But it was when she went to the doctors that she was given the shock she needed to make a change.
She said: “I was at my heaviest of 22 stone and I went to the doctors and they basically said I was at risk of all these health problems.
“I was at risk of diabetes and they told me my weight could stop me having kids.
“They even said I could need knee replacements in the future because my knees wouldn’t be able to hold my body weight.
“It scared me.
“Because I wanted to be able to go out with my friends and one day have kids and a family and I wasn’t going to be able to do any of these things if I didn’t lose weight.”
Claudia, said she had previously tried “quick fix diets” and had also joined Slimming World once before with her mum in 2016.
However she said this time she was determined and re-joined her local group at the Dove Centre in Formby which is run by consultant Carol Wylie.
And she was amazed when the weight began to drop off her.
She said: “It was hard to begin with because I was used to being able to eat whatever I wanted but I soon realised I could still have things I liked, just in moderation.
“I lost weight quite quickly and was losing half a stone in two weeks and within a year I had lost the majority of my weight.”
Claudia has so far dropped an incredible 9st 3lb, and now weighs 12st 2lb – with her obese frame a distant memory.
Even more amazingly she has managed to drop a staggering seven dress sizes and is now a size 10/12.
But the biggest change Claudia has noticed in herself is her confidence and her weight loss has allowed her to do something she has always dreamed of.
She said: “I have always been interested in performing arts and have sang since I was a young girl.
“So when I started to lose the weight I decided to join a dance class and was shocked when I could actually keep up with the others.
“I had always wanted to go to university and I know now that it was my weight that jeopardised my course and made me to drop out the first time.
“So I applied for a performing arts degree and had to audition and I got offered a place.”
Claudia, who is now studying at Edge Hill University, dances twice a week, is part of a cheerleading team and a strength class – and said she is even nearly able to do the splits.
She added: “I just love being active now.
“My mum used to be the one telling me to get up and do things and now she is telling me to slow down.
“But it’s like I can finally do everything I have wanted to do now.
“I am trying to make up for lost time and I just want to give everything a go.
“I love going out with my friends, whereas before I would make up excuses and shy away from photos but it’s not a problem now.
“I love getting dressed up too. I think the only bad thing about my weight loss is the amount of clothes I have bought.”
Claudia added: “My friends and colleagues can just see what a better person I am now and how much I have come out of my shell.
“I will have banter in work whereas before I just kept myself to myself.
“I think my mum is the most proud of me though as she has always wanted me to do it.”
And Claudia has some advice for others trying to lose weight.
She said: “Join Slimming World, but do it for yourself.
“Quick fixes don’t work.
“Slimming World makes you change the way you look and feel about food.
“The changes I’ve made were so simple – little things like switching white bread for wholemeal and using low-calorie cooking spray instead of lots of oil.
“And now I can live my life to my full potential.
“No more hiding.”
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