A mum who was ‘obsessed’ with food and drank five litres of cola a day has lost more than a third of her body weight after doctors told her ‘diet or die’.
Kelly McCracken reached a size 28 and weighed 20 stone after getting hooked on drinking Coke and eating junk food for most meals.
She spent most of her time in bed and was eventually hospitalised with diabetes and high blood pressure because of her unhealthy lifestyle.
There, the doctor told Kelly that she wouldn’t make it to Christmas unless she lost weight.
So Kelly embarked on a healthier lifestyle, since losing seven stone in ten months.
Kelly, of Hull, said: ‘My little boy used to go to school and tell his teacher he was scared Mummy might not pick him up because she might die.
‘He knew his mummy was bigger than the other mummies. I found out at a parents evening and I just broke down.
‘The truth was I was obsessed with food and couldn’t stop. I even thought I was happy but I obviously wasn’t
‘We used to go out as a family to all you can eat restaurants and I would tell myself I have had enough now for the day but by the time I got home I would be eating crisps.’
Kelly’s weight spiralled after giving birth to Curtis – her sixth child.
She says she never realised how big she had become because she only looked at her face in the mirror.
‘I look at photos now and can’t believe I was that big,’ Kelly said.
‘I was comfortable with family life and just oblivious to what I was doing to my body.’
She says her partner of 22 years, Steven Hall, 51, had to become her carer, even though he has a full-time job as an accountant.
He had to help her get dressed and bathe her as she was too big to do it herself.
Kellys’ daily diet consisted of a 12 inch vegetarian pizza and fries, cakes, two family-sized chocolate boxes of mini Daim bars and boxes of celebrations or heroes along with crisp sandwiches.
She says she could barely walk and would often have conversations with Steven about changing her life.
‘But I was obsessed with food and loved it so much,’ she said. ‘I kept telling him I would start tomorrow but tomorrow never came.
‘He used to say I was the queen of excuses because I always had one.
‘I would have sausage and chips for tea with the kids as normal but when Steven came home from work I would pretend I hadn’t and would get a pizza takeaway.’
One Friday night in March last year Kelly went to bed early after telling Steven she felt ill.
Her eyesight had been blurry all week and her whole body was shaking.
Kelly woke up in the early hours in a panic with chest pains before an ambulance was called.
She was rushed to the Hull Royal Infirmary and it took lying in a hospital bed to make Kelly realise something needed to change.
The mum-of-six said: ‘The doctor told me I would die and would not make it to Christmas if I didn’t do something about my weight.
‘I felt sick and was terrified I wouldn’t see my boy grow up. I vowed to diet and I haven’t touched coke or junk food since.
‘It was the wake up call I needed.
‘I was lying in the hospital bed and I made Steven sign me up online to Weight Watchers and that was the day my life changed.’
Kelly started attending her weekly Weight Watchers classes, recording her daily diet in a food diary, and going on little walks.
- Breakfast – Half of a 12″ takeaway veggie pizza, three chocolate croissants
- Snack – Big Galaxy bar, maid of honour bun
- Lunch – Patti chips curry bread cake, big bar of chocolate
- Snack – Tube of cheese and onion pringles
- Tea – Cheese sandwich, Takeaway 12″ veggie pizza and large chips, garlic sauce
- Snack – vanilla slice
- Drinks – Approx 5 litres of Coke
- Breakfast – Fuel chocolate porridge pot
- Snacks – banana
- Lunch – Weightwatchers soup, wholemeal pitta bread, Muller Light yoghurt
- Tea – 3 Quorn fillets, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers. Mint Grenade protein bar
- Drinks – Water only
After losing three stone, Kelly’s partner bought her a little sausage dog called Frankfurter to keep her motivated and get her out for a walk twice a day.
On 25 January Kelly reached her target weight of 13 stone and seven pounds. She’s now a size 14 and feels so much better, despite finding ditching takeaways a challenge.
She no longer drinks any fizzy drinks, just sticking to water, and avoids junk food.
‘It has all been worth it,’ she said ‘I can finally be a mum to my boy. He deserves having his mummy able to move around with him.
‘Life is so different I feel like I have a new one. I can wear clothes that would never have fit before and I have become a gym bunny.
‘I go four times a week and do legs, the treadmill, exercise bikes, resistance band training and tyres and it is really helping.
‘I even go to the shops and buy clothes I want rather than ones I can find that fit.
‘I don’t recognise myself when I look in the mirror and I feel independent again.
‘But the magical thing about this journey is my son now puts his arms around me for a hug and says “Look how thin you are mummy”.
‘I was too big for him to fit his arms around me before.
‘I’m now always on the school run and have no shame about the way I look.’
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