A mum-of-two lost eight stone after she got stuck on a water slide at Centre Parcs.
As Sue Wilson sped down the Wild Water Rapids ride in Sherwood Forest, she came to a sudden stop.
She had become wedged in the slide half way down and was "mortified".
She said: “I was stuck fast and I was mortified.
“Everyone was looking at me from the observation area and I tried to shove myself down but I was wedged firmly in.
“I could see kids coming screeching down behind me and I totally blocked their path. It took four youngsters slamming in behind me one after the other before they managed to push me through.”
Sue, 57, can laugh about it now, but said she couldn't then.
She said: "I was so embarrassed; especially when we got off and the kids said to ‘hurry up or that fat one’s going to beat us and block us again’. I never went back in.”
Weight had never been an issue for the Marks & Spencer section manager who adds that she ‘can’t even blame it on having children’.
The mum from Aintree, Liverpool said: “It happened afterwards. I was working full-time and my husband Mark did shifts so we had different work patterns, and we just started to rely more and more on convenience foods, takeaways, that sort of thing.
“Some people say they pile on the weight, but with me it just snuck up on me. Every time I went to buy new clothes I was another size bigger. I used to cry and then walk out of the changing room and say something didn’t feel like me or the colour didn’t suit, but it was just far too small.
“And I’d say I didn’t feel well, or I needed an early night because I had to get up early, anything to avoid going out anywhere. I hid myself away because I was so self-conscious about being overweight and I hated people staring at me or judging me.
“Mark used to try and encourage me by promising a new dress or suggesting somewhere nice, but I’d say no, so he’d go out – and I’d stay home and eat chocolate! I never admitted I was sad about my weight but I know he knew.”
Sue’s weight soared and she went from a size 12-14 to a size 28.
When she topped the scales at 20st 3lb, it began to take a massive toll on her health and well-being.
Sue said: “My knees ached, my ankles ached, my back ached – and I walked with a limp because of my size. There were times when I got in from work and I slumped on the sofa because I couldn’t make it up the stairs. I was shattered and had no energy.
“I’d say there was no point going to the doctor because he would just say it was my weight – but it was my weight! My cholesterol was nine (it’s now 3.7) and my blood pressure was high.”
Sue’s daily intake started with sausage and egg on toast or a full English breakfast with everything fried, and sandwiches with crisps and chocolate for lunch.
She added: "Dinner would be pizza or an Indian takeaway with a rich and creamy sauce.
“And I’d snack throughout the day on crisps and chocolate or treat myself to anything I wanted at work – I’d buy a whole rotisserie chicken and eat it, skin and all, on a barm cake or buy a ready meal and eat it with bread and chips.
“For supper I’d have something on toast or any pizza that was left. I hated how I was – and yet I did nothing about it.”
But, when Sue’s daughter Laura announced she was pregnant and her granddaughter Holly was born, Sue realised she had to act.
“I wanted to enjoy my granddaughter. My son Matthew has got two children, Savannah, 10 and Ethan, six, and I realised that I didn’t do nearly as much with them as I would have liked. I didn’t get the chance to look after them as much because of my weight.
“I wasn’t as agile, I wasn’t as quick – I wasn’t as able. I struggled to keep up and carry them, or put them to bed, and I didn’t want this to happen with Holly.
“I decided then to lose the weight. And I have.”
Sue joined Slimming World in April 2017 and has since seen her weight steadily decline from 20st 3lb to 12st 3lb.
Now, her daily diet is a healthy breakfast of fruit; lunch is a salad with ham, tuna or salmon, or a jacket potato with tuna or beans; and dinner might be homemade burgers with chips (made the Slimming World way), a curry, Scouse or a roast dinner.
Since she lost the weight, Sue says she has far more energy an is happy to walk everywhere, go swimming or run around in the park.
“I walk for miles and back with Holly and it’s no effort at all – and I can do so much more with Savannah and Ethan too. I realise how much I missed out with them and I’m making up for lost time – we go swimming, I play football with them – I can do anything they want, and I want.
“Ethan gets stickers at school for good work and when he saw my awards for each half-stone loss at Slimming World, he said he was going to tell his teacher that ‘my nan has got more stickers than I've ever seen in my whole life’.
“When my doctor saw me, he looked back at the notes and said he wasn’t sure he had the right person.”
Sue said there is only one drawback to losing the weight and that's the fact that Marks & Spencer has had to keep replacing her uniform for smaller and smaller sizes and it's costing the company a fortune.
She added: “I am so happy with life and loving being able to enjoy my three grandchildren.
“I went to Center Parcs again recently with Laura and Holly and I couldn’t wait to get back down the Rapids ride, and this time nothing and no-one was going to stop me – especially not my weight.”
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