A sales assistant has revealed how she lost eight stone in just nine months without the help of weight loss surgery.
Kate Writer, 25, from New South Wales, Australia, put on weight after meeting her now fiancé Nick Jones, 28, when the pair discovered they had a mutual love of takeaways.
At her heaviest she weighed 120kgs (18st 9lbs) and would regularly eat two dinners - a takeaway McDonalds and a generous home cooked meal.
At a size 20, Writer began to experience painful swollen ankles after a long shift standing all day at work and decided something had to change.
She started cutting her calories and began a gruelling exercise regime and has now dropped five dress sizes.
Her dramatic weight loss has also led to her seeking a new career and she has recently qualified as PE teacher.
”When I first met Nick, I was about 80kgs (12 stone) and on the chubby side,” Writer said.
“He loved me the way I was and I quickly became comfortable around him.
“We’d eat takeaways most nights and before I knew it, my weight had shot up.
“By 21, I was 120kgs (18st 9) and wearing a size 20. I was so overweight it hurt to stand up at work and that’s when I realised I had a problem.”
Before the reality of her weight had sunk in for Writer, she’d always felt confident in her own skin.
“At school I was on the chunky side but I was never teased or bullied. I played sports and was active and had heaps of friends,” she said.
“But I loved food and had no idea about what was good or bad for my body.
“My mum would cook amazing family dinners. We’d eat fresh pasta and schnitzels all smothered in cheese and oil. I’d happily wolf it down, oblivious to the calorie content in such meals.
“Then Nick came along and he was a fan of food too. Like me, he never questioned what he was eating. We just ate what we enjoyed.
“We’d treat ourselves to takeaway meals most nights and would snack on sweets and chocolate while we were curled up in front of the TV.
“But while Nick’s body was never affected by what we ate, I ballooned.”
Writer’s weight went up by 10kgs (1 ½ stones) every year for the first four years they were together, a gradual gain that at first she didn’t recognise.
She said: “When I did finally notice the extra weight was piling on, I didn’t worry about it.
“I’d just started going out and was drinking alcohol more regularly, having so much fun. My weight was the last thing on my mind.
“It was only when I couldn’t fit my clothes anymore and had to keep buying the next size up, that I started to worry about the way I looked.”
But it was standing on her feet all day at work with her 120kg frame weighing down on her that made Writer decide to make a change.
“Most days I’d have a calorie laden energy drink and a chocolate bar for brekkie and then I would snack on lollies and chips all day,” she said.
“After work, I’d grab a McDonald’s on the way home then would settle in for a big home cooked meal when I got in.
“Eventually my feet were swelling so much under the pressure of my weight that I was in so much pain, I couldn’t even drive home. I knew enough was enough.”
With no idea of where to even start, Kate decided to cut back on how much she ate to begin with.
She said: “All I did was reduce my portion sizes and within a week I’d lost around 8kgs (over a stone). I couldn’t believe it.
“After that, I downloaded a calorie counting app and started tracking what I ate. Within a month, I’d fallen below 100kgs (15st 7).
“Realising how much I’d been neglecting my body, I became hooked and soon I started taking on gruelling exercise regime as well.
“I wanted to lose weight naturally and I was determined to get a body that reflected the hard work I was putting in.”
After switching her fatty diet for fresh vegies and lean meat and introducing high intensity workouts to her daily routine, at 5’5” Writer began to notice a real change in her physique.
She said: “After nine months I’d shrunk down to a size 10 and weighed about 65kilos (10st 2). It was the least I’d ever weighed in my life and I felt fantastic.
“Best of all, my body was toned from all the exercise I’d been doing.
“Nick was so proud and super supportive. He made heaps of effort to choose healthier meals for us, even though, he didn’t need to watch what he ate. He was so lucky like that.”
Now the 25-year-old is a fitness fanatic, training for around two hours a day, and has recently qualified as a PE teacher.
Her Instagram account @dedikated_lifestyle has a huge following of 43k followers who turn to Kate for inspiration and weight loss advice.
She said: “People see my before and after photos and they automatically assume I’ve had surgery, but I haven’t.
“I’m lucky because I’m young and my body has bounced back but I’ve put in a lot of hours in the gym.
“My weight has actually gone up to 75kgs (11st 8) but it’s all the muscle I’ve gained.
“I still have my stretchmarks but I’m not ashamed of them. I wear them with pride as they show just how far I’ve come.
“I want to help inspire other women to change their ways and believe me, if I can do it, anyone can.”