A woman lost more than six stone and 10 dress sizes after her boyfriend dumped her for being too overweight.
Now, after overhauling unhealthy diet habits and embarking on a new exercise routine, she has turned her life around to become a personal trainer.
Mona Christensen, a former investment risk advisor, once weighed nearly 18st and wore size 20 clothing. She now weighs 11st and can fit into a size 10 - and has found herself a new boyfriend.
“It’s a very sensitive subject and I was shocked he said it. In retrospect, although it was a blow at the time, I’m grateful. My life has changed enormously since then and I’m satisfied with myself now,” she said.
Miss Christensen saw her weight pile on as she eased boredom in her day job by snacking on chocolate.
She said: “I also had undiagnosed celiac disease which caused my weight to fluctuate before and after I changed to a gluten-free diet.
“I was vegan for three years for ethical reasons, and that didn’t help either, because all I ate were grain products.”
Finally, in 2008, her boyfriend of seven years decided to break off their relationship.
She said: “He said he didn’t find me attractive anymore, and it was a body weight issue. He’d obviously been thinking about it for a very long time.
“At the same time, I knew I wasn’t small and had changed a lot since we met. I’m a loyal, committed person and it was a bit devastating.”
Her 30th birthday, which she marked shortly afterwards, was spent alone, binging on chocolate and champagne as she tried to drown her sorrows.
But then, around a year after the traumatic separation, Miss Christensen was inspired by her brother to begin a period of determined weight loss and fitness training.
She said: “I began eating six meals a day - a combination of proteins, carbohydrates and good healthy fats.
“I switched my diet to 100% natural food, and banned processed foods from my meals entirely.
“I was careful to stabilise my blood sugar so the weight loss was sustainable. I wasn’t interested in tricking my body into losing weight by starting a fad diet or joining a slimming club.”
She also began exercising every other day, combining weight training with cardio routines, maximising her body’s ability to convert fat to muscle.
Losing weight at a steady rate of 2lb a month, in the course of two years she lost five stone. Today she weighs 11st and can fit into size 10 clothing.
Before beginning her weight loss journey, she typically did not eat breakfast, and ate a large pack of rice cakes with hummus for lunch. For dinner she would eat a large risotto, with crackers and guacamole for snacks.
Now she has completely transformed her eating habits, eating six meals a day, typically a protein shake with fruit and various seed bars and portions of yogurt with honey or fruit.
In August 2010, she met her current partner, Gary Arnold, 38, a client manager for database developer.
She said: “Gary was a needle in a haystack. For our first date we went to Monkey World. It was really lovely. He’s very different to my ex-boyfriend but I’m very happy now.”
Then, in April 2013, she launched her own personal training business, named Functional Fitness Forever.
She said: “I knew this is what I wanted to do for a job. I absolutely love living a healthier life and I want to be able to share the things I’ve learned with others. I got a permanent studio in May this year and I’ve got a solid client base.
“I’m grateful to my ex-boyfriend for making that comment, even though I might have been upsetting at the time.
“If he hadn’t told me, I might not have known that was the reason, and I might not have been set down the path I’ve been on.
“The only regret I have, looking back, is that he didn’t tell me sooner.”
For more information on Miss Christensen’s personal training business, visit www.functionalfitnessforever.co.uk or search on Facebook for ‘Functional Fitness Forever’.
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