By Mollie Mansfield
A music lover who was forced to flog her festival ticket because she was too fat to CAMP has shed a whopping seven stone – and is looking forward to going to her first-ever Glastonbury festival.
Music fanatic Samantha Monk was thrilled when she managed to get a ticket to the famous festival back in October 2014.
But she tipped the scales at 21 and a half stone after gorging on takeaways – and started to fear her bulging belly would get her stuck in a campsite portaloos.
After she realised she was too wide to fit in a two man tent with a pal, she decided to sell her ticket – but vowed to shed the pounds and make it back to the festival in 2017.
The 49 year old decided to ditch her unhealthy eating habits and two years on, she is finally set to go to her dream festival, an impressive seven stone lighter.
Samantha said: “I was so obese that I couldn’t walk across a campsite, I couldn’t hover on a dirty festival toilet seat, I’d break a camping chair, I’d get back ache and hip ache – the list was endless.
“Basically, I was too fat to camp, so I cancelled my ticket.
“That was the turning point, where I thought this weight is ruining my life so I forced myself to lose it.
“I had tried to lose weight for years but when relationships broke down, I’d get miserable and comfort eat anything in sight.
“I used to go through a break-up and just binge-eat, I would just eat crisps, biscuits, and chocolate – anything that was bad for me.
“I would just order takeaways at any given opportunity.
“Looking back on my weight, it was just embarrassing how big I was.
“I remember taking my son, Stan, to a theme park and taking him on one of the JCB rides.
“But I wasn’t allowed to go on it, because the belt on the ride couldn’t get round me.
“He was so confused why we couldn’t go on it, when everyone else could go on with their mums – it was heart-breaking.”
Samantha, who works as a secretary for Rolls-Royce, decided to join Slimming World in May 2015.
She added: “I had tried to be strict with myself before but it didn’t work.
“It meant that cutting out treats just spurred me on to eat them more.
“When my ex-partner used to tell me to watch what I was eating, I would lie and tell him I was going to Slimming World.
“But in reality I would just go to Tesco, buy a load of junk food, and sit in the car park eating it until the ‘meeting’ was finished.
“Luckily when I started Slimming World I was still allowed some treats and no one was forcing me to do it, so I could stick to it.”
Since starting the weight loss plan two years ago, Samantha has transformed from a whopping size 26 to a curvy 14.
Now she is able to go to the festival of her dreams, after purchasing her ticket in October 2016, and she is a lot more confident that camping is going to go her way.
Samantha said: “My friends and I are pitching up a tent like everyone else!
“I can’t wait to walk around and explore the entirety of the festival without having to make my friends wait for me when I stop to catch my breath every minute.
“It’s such an exciting place to go as a music fan, but even more so now I feel confident.
“I’m fit, healthy and have so much energy now – so I feel as though I’ll be able to keep up with everyone and keep dancing the whole week.
“And hopefully the only camping related pains I’ll get, is having a bad back from sleeping on the floor!”
However this isn’t where Samantha’s new adventures finish.
She added: “I’m turning 50 in October and to celebrate, I’m going to Ibiza with the girls.
“I’m not ready to flaunt around in my bikini just yet, but I’ve still got time.
“I’m going to get back on my plan after Glastonbury – I’m going to allow myself to enjoy the treats at the festival!”