Wendi, 39, piled on the pounds after suffering with post-natal depression until she tipped the scales at a staggering 21 stone. But when her daughter Tia was due to start school she vowed to act – determined the youngster wouldn’t be bullied because of her size…
By Helen O’Brien Google
I’ve always been a big girl but my size never bothered me – until 2000, when I gave birth to my daughter, Tia.
My husband Steve and I couldn’t have been happier at the arrival of our little girl – but not long after her birth I was diagnosed with post-natal depression.
I sunk into a pit of despair, barely leaving the house for two years, comforting myself with toast, chocolate and any other junk food I could get my hands on.
But as my mood sunk, my weight soared and it wasn’t long before I’d gone from 14 stone to a whopping 21 stone and a bulging dress size 34.
My hulking frame made me feel even worse and soon I avoided going out altogether unless Tia had a doctor’s appointment.
Even then, I felt everyone’s eyes on me.
“Have you seen the size of her?” I heard women exclaim. And even children would look at me and gasp.
“Mummy, why is that lady so fat?” one little boy whispered.
My cheeks burned with shame, but it wasn’t until Tia turned three that I was jolted into action.
It was almost time for her to start school. I should have been excited at the new phase in her life but all I felt was worry and guilt.
The cruel taunts I received from strangers whirred round and round in my head.
Tia will get bullied at school because I’m fat, I reasoned.
It was one thing for me to be called nasty names – I wasn’t about to let my precious daughter be taunted over my size.
In that moment, I vowed to change.
I cut back on snacks and processed food and I quickly saw results.
Within seven months, I had lost a massive eight stone.
My confidence boosted, I joined a gym. As the weight continued to drop off I started to enjoy exercise.
That’s when I discovered Zumba, which I loved.
By 2011 I reached 9st 11lbs and was a slinky size eight.
Later that year, I found myself on the other side of the dance studio – when I became a Zumba instructor.
I’ve lost almost half my body weight. I love telling the women who take my classes what I’ve achieved – if I can do it, anyone can!
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