A woman has lost more than half her body weight after being inspired by her daughter, who feared she would “eat herself to death”.
Wendy Deacon, 49, from Dublin, has been named Slimming World’s Woman of the Year 2019, after shedding an enormous 12st 4.5lbs.
She originally weighed 22st 4.5lbs but managed to drop from a dress size 32 to a 10 or 12, and now weighs just 10st.
She said: “I always came across as jolly and smiley, but inside I felt anything but.
“It was getting to the point where I felt uneasy whenever I left the house. I remember once a small boy pointed at me in the street and said ‘look at that fat lady’ to his mother.
“She tried to hush him, but the damage was done. I’d never felt so embarrassed, I just wanted the ground to swallow me up.”
But the real turning point came when she discovered that her daughter, Amy, had confided in her grandmother that she worried Wendy would “eat herself to death”.
“Hearing that broke my heart and I knew I needed to change. The thought of my daughter being so worried about my health really spurred me into action,” she said.
She added that one of the most difficult lifestyle changes with the Slimming World plan was learning how to cook from scratch, but that everyone in her group was kind and supportive.
She said the weight-loss and recognition have given her the confidence to plan a wedding to her long-term fiance, and she is now looking forward to her 50th birthday in January.
“By far the best thing about losing weight though is seeing the pride in my family’s faces, especially Amy’s. I’ve finally started to feel proud of myself too – I’ve got my whole life back.”