A mum-of-three whose weight crept up to 29 stone has been named Slimming World's Woman of the Year after losing more than half her body weight – inspired by the mortifying moment she broke a chair at a friend's house!
The incident made Kim Freshwater so scared of destroying more furniture that she avoided weddings and parties, and even her son's award-giving ceremony at school because the chairs were so flimsy.
And she missed a family funeral because she couldn't walk between the church and the graveside. So she overhauled her diet and in two and a half years, the 45-year-old's weight fell from 28st 12lb to 11st 7lb and she dropped 13 dress sizes from a size 38 to a 12.
Kim said: "A chair had already collapsed under me while we were staying with friends for Christmas,' she said.
"It was mortifying and I was constantly scared that I would break something else."
The mum, from Havant, Hampshire, had to walk with sticks, suffered from high blood pressure, breathing problems and joint pain.
She also slept on the floor in hotels for fear of buckling the bed and had to get a belt extension on planes.
Her incredible weight loss started after her GP prescribed vouchers for her local Slimming World group. Whereas before she ate no breakfast or lunch but gorged on lasagne, chips, crisps and chocolate in the evenings, now she eats three home-cooked meals a day.
She said: "I actually eat more now than I did before but I've learned to make good choices."
She also plays tennis, swims, cycles, walks miles – without her sticks – and even abseiled 350ft down a tower in Portsmouth, raising £600 for charity.
She added: "I've missed so many wonderful moments with my family and I can never get those back, but now I'm determined to make up for lost time and there's so much I want to do."
Kim suffered from high blood pressure, breathing problems, and back and knee pain because of her weight so her GP prescribed her 12 weeks of vouchers for her local Slimming World Group.
She said: "I was worried people would judge me or the scales wouldn't go up to my weight.
"I needn't have been so nervous though because everyone made me feel so welcome."
She added: "I love that I don't need seatbelt extensions on planes any more, I can sit in chairs with arms, I can shop on the high street - the list is endless.
"My husband jokes that my weight loss has been hard on his bank balance because before I used to have four pairs of shoes but now I've got about 40 and I only wore black but now my wardrobe's full of every colour of the rainbow.
"I don't think I realised how unhappy I was until I became as happy as I am now."