A woman has achieved an incredible 9st weight loss after she faced bruising from being stuck in a plane seat.
Jill Rutherford, 53, says the “mortifying” experience happened when she was on a trip to Australia and ended up “wedged” into a plane seat where she was “black and blue” from the bruising.
“The flight was so humiliating - I didn't get up and use the loo for the entire 11-hour flight,” Rutherford says. “I knew I had to make a change and I can’t believe how far I’ve come.”
The final tipping point came later in 2016 when Rutherford was told she had breast cancer, which gave her the drive to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Before losing weight, self-confessed food addict Rutherford admits that she would “scoff three chocolate bars” on the drive home from work and hide the evidence from her husband John, 56.
“I was so unfit I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs or bend over and tie my own shoelaces,” the Newcastle woman explains. “I was such a secret eater and obsessed with any type of white bread, as long as there was a thick layer of butter on top.”
At her heaviest, Rutherford weighed 20st 10lbs (131kgs) and wore a size 26 trouser. Now, the mother of two is 11st 10lbs and can fit into a size 12.
Following the “embarrassing” flight, Rutherford returned home and noticed a lump under her armpit, which doctors confirmed was breast cancer.
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“The doctor said my unhealthy lifestyle and obesity was a massive factor,” she explains, adding that after 26 rounds of radiotherapy and six-months of chemotherapy she was announced cancer-free.
Yet, her doctor warned that the cancer could return if she continued on with her unhealthy lifestyle.
“Hearing that was a huge wake-up call for me and I knew had to make a change,” she admits.
At the end of 2016 Rutherford signed up for Slimming World and says she was “determined” to make a change.
She swapped her sugary snacks for healthier alternatives and calorie-controlled meals. She also started exercising – going out for walks with her Jack Russel Betty and eventually joining a running club.
“I was barely able to walk and now I’m going to the gym three times a week,” she says. “It took me a couple of years to hit my target weight but I’m happier than ever.”
Additional reporting by SWNS.