LIFESTYLE

Weight Loss Story: Devoted Mum Drops Eight Stone Because Her Son Couldn't Hug Her

21/01/2015 13:46 GMT | Updated 21/01/2015 13:59 GMT

A mother, whose son could not fit his arms around her due to her size, has dropped eight and a half stone in just seven months.

Stacey Walton, of Seaham, County Durham was gorging an unhealthy diet of English breakfasts, pub lunches, crisps and chocolate prior to her drastic lifestyle change. At one point, her weight ballooned to 17 stone and, as a result, she was unable to have cuddle her son.

But the harsh reality gave Walton the health kick she needed and, after following a strict diet and fitness regime, the mum-of-three is now a size eight and has even achieved her dream of becoming a personal trainer.

stacey

Stacey, who used to be a size 24, started gaining weight when she was working as a sports sales manager.

She would eat greasy English breakfasts, three course pub lunches and would snack on crisps and chocolate while she travelled with work and stayed in hotels overnight.

Her busy job meant that she did not have time to cook or prepare a proper meal.

The 37-year-old said: "It was horrible hearing a doctor saying I was putting on so much weight. I didn't need anyone to tell me that but I didn't do anything about it.

''I got bigger and bigger, and I was completely addicted to fatty foods. I couldn't resist tucking into a McDonald's or a full English, I really enjoyed eating them.

''I also enjoyed a few glasses of wine whenever I ate at the pub and would always have a pudding.''

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"Then I became really miserable. I couldn't fit into any of my nice dresses and I had to start buying really unattractive clothes,'' she added.

But the reality of her weight gain only hit Stacey when her son, Ross, now 14, could not fit his arms around her to give her a hug to thank her for his Christmas presents.

"Christmas 2011 was the turning point in my life. I couldn't even get up a set of stairs without gasping for breath,'' she said.

"When Ross couldn't fit his arms around my bulging stomach I was absolutely devastated. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time and there I was bawling my eyes out."

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Stacey, who is also also mum to Ryan, 20, and Alex, 17, said: "My husband Graham and the kids were horrified that I was crying on Christmas Day and were desperate to comfort me.

"I stared at myself in the mirror and couldn't believe that I had let myself get this big.

"But that shock was enough, it gave me the kick I needed and I vowed to change my life and lose weight. I didn't want the kids to end up like me."

Stacey swapped takeaways and chocolate for porridge, salad, chicken and vegetables.

She joined a local Boot Camp in the New Year and pushed herself so hard during workouts every week that she would be sick.

But her hard work paid off and she soon dropped eight dress sizes.

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Over the course of seven months she documented her progress on Facebook and soon had people contacting her from around the world asking for advice.

She said: ''Losing weight was really hard work and it was difficult to stick at it. My body would ache of the end of the sessions and I really missed eating chocolate, but it's all been worth it.''

A slimmer Stacey can now wear bikinis and fitted size 8-10 dresses, and can fit into one of the legs of a pair of trousers that she used to wear before her weight loss.

But the determined mum didn't just stop there.

She decided to quit her job and launch her own personal training company, Fit For Life, in a bid to help others struggling to lose weight.

She said: "I took a massive gamble, I quit my job and signed up to do a personal training course.

"But the risk paid off as I am now doing something that I absolutely love as well as running a successful business.

''I'm always at the gym now, and it is amazing to see other people progressing and watching the weight drop off them.''

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Stacey, who trains and holds classes at DW fitness club in Sunderland, is now focusing her efforts on body-building and plans to enter competitions later in the year.

She said: ''Now the next step for me is body building. I want to tone up and build up muscle and eventually enter myself into competitions.

''I've already made a start and I lift weights about three or four times a week, which is tough but I know I can do it.''

She added: "Graham and the boys are so proud of me and I feel incredible. I have so much confidence and want others to feel like that.

"It's a struggle, me of all people should know that but I always tell my clients if I can do it, so can you."