A mother-of-two lost more than TEN STONE after she became worried her weight gain was causing her to look look like a man.
Kim Callaghan, 39, ballooned to a massive 20st 3lbs after the birth of her two children.
With close-cropped hair and her wardrobe limited to size 28 figure-hiding garments, Mrs Callaghan was afraid she was losing her femininity.
Desperate to change she joined a slimming club and lost an incredible ten dress sizes to slim down to a slinky size eight.
Mrs Callaghan, of Ardee, County Louth, Ireland, said: “I only wore baggy trousers and flappy shirts when I was fat – I was trying to cover up my body because I was embarrassed. I stopped looking like a woman.
“Now I’ve slimmed down and I feel confident enough to wear dresses again. I feel healthy and very feminine.”
Mrs Callaghan married her husband Sean Callaghan, 41, in 1999. After the pair got married they splashed out on a double deep-fat fryer.
Mrs Callaghan’s diet consisted mainly of convenience foods like chicken kiev, deep-fried chicken, potato croquettes and burgers.
She said: “We loved pizza, chips and chicken kievs. The deep fat fryer was my favourite thing in the house.”
Soon after Mrs Callaghan gave birth to her children Owen, now 14, and Shannon, 13, and her weight gain accelerated.
Eventually she tipped the scales at 20st 3lbs and was forced to cover her bulging frame in baggy size 28 clothes.
She said: “I tried to take pride in my appearance, but at that size it was impossible to find anything flattering, I ordered all my clothes from catalogues.
“Before long I had a wardrobe which could have been owned by a man. I had a signature cropped hairstyle and honestly looked nothing like a woman. I was worried that the the sexy, curvy bride which Sean had married had disappeared forever.”
The turning point came for Mrs Callaghan when she was out with her children on St Patrick’s Day in 2011. She had to stop and rest after struggling to keep up.
She said: “I was trying to follow the kids up a hill near our home. I was hot and sweaty and I had to stop to catch my breath.
“My weight was getting in the way of my life with my kids – I knew it was time to change.
“When I got home that night I found a Slimming World leaflet had been posted through my door. I thought it was a sign.”
Mrs Callaghan started attending her local Slimming World classes in secret.
She said: “It took all my courage to go to the meetings – I was convinced everyone would judge me.
“Three weeks later I’d shed a stone and I celebrated by telling my husband and the kids. They were all very supportive and amazed at what I had done.”
Desperate to change she swapped greasy fried foods for healthy meals cooked from scratch. Mrs Callaghan even threw out her double deep-fat-fryer.
Before her dramatic weight loss Mrs Callaghan used to skip breakfast, would eat a fry-up with four slices of buttered bread for lunch and chicken kiev with potato croquettes and chips for dinner. Throughout the day she would snack on crisps.
Now she tucks into porridge with berries for breakfast, scrambled eggs, ham and mushrooms for lunch and a chicken stir-fry. Throughout the day she snacks on yoghurt and fresh fruit.
The devoted slimmer also started running and cycling – and the pounds started to fall off.
Soon she had slimmed down to the slinky 9st 10lbs she is today and ditched her baggy unflattering clothes for good.
She said: “I love being able to go into shops and have everything fit me. I don’t need to order from catalogues anymore.
“I feel fantastic and I look great. I have a new life now.”
Did you know we’ve relaunched our search for the UK’s Best Slimmer? You could get up to £1,000 for selling your weight loss story to a magazine. You don’t have to have lost the largest amount of weight, we want to hear about inspirational and interesting dieting journeys.