A new mum lost an incredible seven stone in a year after doctors said she might not live to see her daughter grow up.
Lillie Monro, 24, from Halstead, Essex, had always struggled to maintain healthy eating habits and would often have a takeaway for breakfast as well as fast food for both lunch and dinner.
It was a habit that saw her weight creep up to 21 stone, just before giving birth to her daughter, Mila, now two.
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The turning point came when a doctor told the new mum her size could mean she might not see her baby grow up, so at 19st 1lb, she decided to do something about it and set about overhauling her diet and lifestyle.
As well as swapping takeaways for salads and ditching the sweets the MOT, service and repairs advisor also started cooking for herself.
The change saw her lose 7st in a year, going from a size 22-24 to a 10-12, and she now weighs a healthy 12st.
“I literally lost a whole person worth of weight," she explains.
“My GP told me I wouldn't see my daughter grow up so I knew I had to make rapid changes.
“I don’t think I’d have been able to do it if she hadn’t said that and I didn't have Mila."
In May 2019, when Mila was three months old, she visited her GP and was given medication for depression and anxiety.
During the same appointment the doctor told Monro her weight was putting her at risk of diabetes, heart failure, and other health risks.
“You don’t expect your doctor to tell you you’re going to pop your clogs, but I’m so glad she did,” she says.
“That was my wake-up call.
“I went home from the GP and cried my eyes out then decided to make changes.
“I knew I was big, but when she said it I looked and was surprised at how big I'd got."
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As well as joining Slimming World, the mum-of-one weighed herself weekly, sharing her journey, recipes and ideas with other slimmers on Instagram.
“I actually really enjoyed it," she explains.
“I could still eat really big portions.
“I just changed the amounts of different foods so I was eating more of the right things and less of others, and cooked from scratch."
Within a year, Monro had dropped down to 12st and has maintained that weight ever since.
“At first I thought of it as a diet, but actually it’s a lifestyle change and that’s why it’s still working.”
Pre-weight loss, Monro regularly enjoyed sharing bags of Haribo and a couple of family size Dairy Milk bars while in bed watching TV.
She’d also indulge in junk-food treats like pizza, burger and fries, for lunch and/or dinner at least five days a week.
But the new mum says she was so uncomfortable about her size she wouldn’t go out to the shops, or with her friends, and wouldn’t eat meals out.
Now, however, the mum has reclaimed her enjoyment of going out and is loving being able to play with her daughter and climb the stairs without getting out of breath.
As well as having an impact on her health, changing her lifestyle means Monro no longer spends £150-200 a week on fast food and her food bills have more than halved.
Instead she prefers to eat in now, cooking her own favourites like curry or Chinese fake-aways and spending around £50 to £60 a week.
“I’ve been saving so much money towards a mortgage, but first I enjoyed buying new clothes," she says.
“It's easy to feel shamed by your fast-food habits, but actually fast food is very addictive and it’s everywhere: promising you an easy life.
“It’s not good for you though, and cooking is really fun as well as so much better for you.
“Bothering to cook for myself was key.
“I’m just really, really happy now."
Additional reporting SWNS.
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