A woman branded morbidly obese by her GP has lost 21 stone in weight after an embarrassing trip to the dentist forced her to act.
Denise Petty has gone from a size 34 to a size 14 dress after four years of shedding the pounds.
She has lost so much weight, doctors told her last year a gastric band she had fitted was no longer working and she had been keeping the weight off herself.
It took a trip to the dentist to spark the mother-of-one from Walsall, West Midlands, into action.
Miss Petty said: "It was just so embarrassing. I went to the dentists and they could not get the chair to lift me up. I knew then that if I didn't do something about my weight I would be lucky to survive to the end of the year."
At the time in 2009, she weighed 36 stone and could not get up the stairs in her house without struggling for breath. She said she was depressed after years of weight gain and never allowed anyone to take photographs of her. "The weight creeps up on you, year after year," said Miss Petty.
When she plucked up the courage to go to her GP, he warned her she was morbidly obese but it took the shock of what happened at the dentists to force a change of lifestyle.
She said: "I couldn't walk more than 20 yards. I avoided the GP because he always said the same thing, that I was morbidly obese, and you don't want to listen, you don't want to hear it. But it changed my mind and I knew I had to lose weight."
The 42-year-old health care assistant was referred by her GP to her local Weight Watchers group in Bloxwich, where she said she learned to "re-educate" herself about food and change her lifestyle. "It's about smaller portion sizes and about moderating what you eat," she said.
Having reduced her body weight by more than half, Miss Petty now wants to lose another 10 lbs so she can qualify for surgery to remove the excess skin her slimming has left behind.