By Kim Reader
A glam mum looks 10 years younger after shedding just as many stone in only one year.
Tanya Austin, 29, who was always very sporty in school, started to pile on the pounds when she swapped her hobbies for nights out on the town.
Bingeing on up to 4,000 calories a day – including four takeaways a week – and boozing at the weekend, saw 5ft 8ins receptionist Tanya quickly balloon to a size 24 and 24 stone at her heaviest.
But after giving birth to her son Logan in March 2016, Tanya swapped drunken nights out for time with her tot and started to think about how she would keep up with her lively little one while weighed down by her bulky frame.
And when a picture surfaced of Tanya looking ‘fat and sweaty’ at a friend’s party in August 2016, she decided enough was enough.
The obese mum-of-one swapped gorging on chocolate, crisps and curries for healthy eating and exercise, dropping five dress sizes to a lean size 14 and now weighs 14 stone.
Tanya, from Lincoln, said: “I was always a bit larger as I was tall but when I was young I was very sporty so it was healthy.
“But at about 19, something changed and all I wanted to do was go out drinking with my friends. I gave up my sports because they interrupted drinking time.
“I would go out Friday and Saturday every week and drink about 10 to 15 pints of cider with lots of tequila shots in between.
“I started bingeing on takeaways. Chinese, Indian, McDonalds’s – there wasn’t anything I’d say no to.
“I’d have four a week and not even think about it. I spent all my money on food and alcohol.
“I piled on the weight and by the time I was 23, I weighed 24 stone and was wearing a size 24. I tried every diet but nothing stuck.
“Then when I was 27, I had my little boy and I stopped going out and I’ve barely drunk since he was born so I must have lost a few stone but I was still eating tonnes of bread and anything convenient.
“But then when he was six months old, I had some pictures taken of me at a friend’s party and I decided then and there that enough was enough.
“I looked so fat and sweaty, I just looked really unhealthy. I needed to make a change so I would be able to keep up with my son and be a good role model.
“One of my friend’s suggested Slimming World and I started going to the gym three or four times a week. I haven’t looked back since.
“It’s completely changed my life. When people I’ve met recently see pictures of me before they can’t believe it’s me and I feel 10 years younger.”
After falling into bad habits in her late teens, Tanya’s life began to revolve around binge eating and nights out as she felt her size stopped her from doing anything else.
Despite longing to join her friends on daring skydives or at theme parks, Tanya would make excuses not to go as she feared her 24-stone frame would see her turned away.
The single mum even avoided short walks in favour of bus and taxi rides as her excess bulk would leave her feeling breathless and lethargic.
But since dropping five dress sizes, Tanya can run around after her tot and no longer worries about being ‘an embarrassment’.
Tanya’s trim new figure means she no longer feels the need to ‘hide away’ in photos and can now buy clothes from high street stores.
Tanya said: “People don’t realise how much being so overweight limits your life. It stopped me from doing so many things I wanted to.
“My sister and some friends did a skydive and I so wanted to go but I made excuses and told them I could never do one out of fear but really I knew I was too heavy.
“And I’ve always wanted to go to theme parks but I was too worried that I would get turned away or stuck on the rides.
“I used to pay for a bus pass and taxis because I couldn’t even do short walks without getting out of breath. And I was so tired all the time.
“I tried to hide away behind people in photos and I never got to wear what I wanted. I had to shop at fat shops and just buy whatever would fit.
“But now I can buy whatever I want to wear, it is so nice and I feel like I’ve gained so much self-confidence.
“I feel healthy and I’ve got so much energy. I can run around after Logan – we go out every day to the park now.
“Logan has been my biggest inspiration. I didn’t wanted to be the fat mum or embarrass him. I never want to hold him back in any way.
“I never thought I would be able to get this far so I am really proud of myself and now Logan can be too.
“If I can do it anyone can. You don’t have to starve yourself, it’s just about eating the right things. And I think everyone needs that one thing to keep them going, like Logan does for me.”
TANYA’S DAILY DIET BEFORE:
BREAKFAST: Bacon, egg and mushroom sandwich on white bread with lots of butter (450 calories)
SNACK: Two packets of crisps and a bar of chocolate (598 calories)
LUNCH: Chicken tikka baguette with another packet of crisps (674 calories)
SNACK: Cornish pasty (774 calories)
DINNER: Chicken curry with white rice and naan bread (914 calories)
SNACK: A cupcake (305 calories)
DRINKS: Four cans of full fate Coke Cola a day (556 calories)
TOTAL CALORIES: 3,821 calories
TANYA’S DAILY DIET NOW:
BREAKFAST: Poached eggs, baked beans, and bacon without the fat cooked in light cooking spray (383 calories)
SNACK: Grapes (62 calories)
LUNCH: Grilled chicken with salad and sweetcorn (450 calories)
SNACK: Dairylea triangles with melba toast (110 calories)
DINNER: Grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and grilled mushrooms (258 calories)
TOTAL CALORIES: 1,263