By Josh Saunders
An obese mum too big for garden furniture has lost half her bodyweight because she was determined not to be fat at 30 years old.
Emma Clement, 33, from Port Talbot, Wales, tipped the scales at 24st 11lb at her heaviest after years of snacking on bread, pizzas, chips and crisps between big meals.
Her weight spiralled out of control during childhood when she would comfort eating to deal with bullying at school.
Cruel comments like the ‘ground was shaking’ or she might ‘dent’ a table by leaning on it, and the fear that patio furniture couldn’t hold her weight led her to excessively gorge.
But when approaching the three-decade milestone, she couldn’t stand the thought of being ‘fat and 30-years-old’ so she joined Weight Watchers.
She switched her excessive carb-consumption and large meals, for five smaller portions and lost nearly 12 stone.
Now the invigorated mum-of-two has been taking on challenges she never thought she was capable of, including skydiving, climbing mountains, 30mile bike-rides, 5k runs and more.
Emma said: “I was constantly checking while walking into a restaurant or pub to see what chair would be able to fit me.
“I knew I wouldn’t fit into patio furniture and could never sit down at BBQs, I also had a fear of needing a seatbelt extender when going abroad.
“One year when on an airplane my seven-month-old son wanted to sit on my lap but I couldn’t hold him for take-off or landing because of my size.
“It was heartbreaking and pretty soul destroying seeing how upset he was and that I couldn’t do anything.
“Approaching 30 was a wake-up call, I felt as if I had wasted so many years not being able to experience all the things I wanted to try.
“Now I’m fitter and healthier for my kids, I’ve completed challenges I never thought I would.”
Emma was overweight by the age of 12 and she continued to pile on the pounds as an adult with hefty carbohydrate consumption.
Emma said: “In the past, food was always a comfort for me.
“I would take slices of bread to my room to eat secretly and I would buy crisps or chips on the way home, then eat dinner too.
“People were very unkind back then.
“I was always bigger than the rest of the children, my mum made big portions and I was bullied for me size.
“Whenever I was called names like ‘fatty’, food was always there to soothe and make me feel better.
“Bullying led to more comfort eating, self-loathing and depression, it was a big vicious cycle.
“Then when I was old enough to drink it worsened as I would go into town and then eat a pizza on the way home, it all quickly spiraled out of control.”
Emma cut out dairy from her diet and switched to five-smaller portioned meals each day to prevent herself from snacking.
But after losing three stone in six months on Weight Watchers she plateaued and believes that if it wasn’t for her determination to lose weight she could have piled it all back on.
Emma said: “The thing that kept me going was knowing that I was making a lifestyle change and wasn’t going after short-term fixes any more.
“I had to understand, that it had taken 15 years to put on 15 stone, so it would take a while to come off.
“But I stuck to the plan religiously and started to lose weight again, the plan works you just have to want it.”
Now Emma is a slight version of her old self weighing 13 stone, she credits her husband Shane, 38, and family for keeping her on track.
Emma said: “I’m so grateful for his support, at my lowest points if he didn’t take me to the gym or stopped me from eating that extra chocolate biscuit I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“When my youngest looks at before and after pictures, he sees they are both me but is amaze and tells me ‘You’re my pretty mummy now.'”
Emma believes the flexibility of the Weight Watchers plan was the tool to keeping her on track.
Karen Monticelli, her Weight Watchers leader, said: “I am so proud of Emma’s weight loss achievement.
“She has lost over 160lbs and 47% of her body weight since she walked into my Baglan meeting on 8th January 2014.
“What a transformation, she is looking amazing, hardly recognisable.
“Emma has embraced our holistic approach, changed her lifestyle, become more active, set herself achievable goals throughout her journey and still had a life.
“At Weight Watchers, we don’t expect perfection but she is the perfect member in my eyes.
For more inspirational weight loss stories and for information about Weight Watchers, visit here.
Breakfast – nothing
Snacks – breakfast cereal bars
Lunch – sandwich, crisps, Diet Coke
Snacks – banana
Dinner – large cheese and potato pie or pasta bake
Dessert – nothing
Breakfast – 40g oats made with unsweetened almond milk and blueberries
Snacks – banana , alpen light bar
Lunch – homemade bolognaise with 50g dry pasta – sugar free jelly
Snacks – carrot / cucumber batons , popcorn
Dinner – chicken , cous cous , broccoli
Dessert – mini milk / mini twister