A woman who was hooked on chocolate and takeaways lost a staggering seven stone – after she broke a chair at a music festival.
Lynsey Blackshaw, 29, tipped the scales at 17 stone after years of gorging on fast-food and sweet treats all washed down with pints of beer.
The secondary school teacher could munch through an entire sharing pack of Cadbury’s chocolate bars and scoffed more than 3,000 calories a day.
She decided to take drastic action after she smashed a camping chair when she sat down with pals at the V Festival in August 2015.
Since joining Slimming World, Lynsey has shed seven stone and six dress sizes.
She now runs 10km three times a week and has swapped takeaways and chocolate for vegetables, fish and rice.
Her weight loss was so dramatic she was forced to spend hundreds of pounds having her size 22 wedding dress taken in to fit her size 10 frame.
Mum-of-one Lynsey, of Hawarden, north Wales, said: “When I broke the camping chair my friends were really nice and said it had bad reviews.
“But I knew it was because I was so big.
“I was 17 stone and looked awful in every picture from the festival.
“I came back on a Monday and joined the local Slimming World group on the Wednesday.
“When I went to try on the wedding dress that month I asked for a smaller one because I told them I had joined a slimming group.
“They said ‘everyone says that’.
“By January I had lost three-and-a-half stone and they say you can lose two stone and still wear the same dress.
“The dress cost £1,200 which is about average.
“In February I went to try it on and they said I could still wear that dress but would have to pay a lot of money to alter it.
“In the end the alterations were £400 but it was worth it.
“As it got closer to the wedding I got to my target. Originally it was 12 stone and now I am 10-and-a-half stone.
“Initially the dress was size 22 and now I’m 10.
“I’ve totally changed my life and habits.
“I used to eat a large sharer bag of chocolate every day which was meant for at least two people.
“You are supposed to eat a handful at a time but I used to eat the whole thing.
“At university in Manchester I was surrounded by takeaways and used to have one every night.
“I never used to cook and didn’t know how to use the oven.
“I probably eat double the amount I was supposed to.
“The ready meals I had were full of fat and sugar.
“Now I do all my cooking from scratch and use recipe books to mix things up.
“I still eat carbs like rice and potatoes and I love pasta – I eat a lot of it.
“Those foods will fill you up and you need the carbs for energy.
“I have a lot of fruit and vegetables and drink lots more water instead of full fat coke.
“I don’t cut anything out. I wouldn’t want to deprive myself of chocolate, I just have less.
“I’ll have a fun-size bar of Dairy Milk or white chocolate in the evening and I still have a curry occasionally.
“I used to drink beer on nights out or while watching the football.
“Instead I have vodka diet cokes which have a lot fewer calories.”
On a typical day Lynsey has two bananas for breakfast and two cereal bars for elevenses.
Lunch is usually a pasta dish with two apples in the afternoon and for dinner she has fish or chicken with vegetables.
Her weight loss even inspired her new husband Liam Blackshaw, 32, an electrical engineer, to diet and he lost two stone himself.
Lynsey added: “It is not about cutting out certain foods. It’s about eating better and doing more exercise.
“Before I didn’t do anything at all and the only exercise I got was walking between classrooms.
“Now I run 10km three times a week in about an hour.
“Since losing the weight I had to get a whole new wardrobe of clothes, but that was fine because I loved that.
“A lot of people said I looked amazing and all of my friends were so pleased for me.”
Lynsey has now been taken on as a Slimming World consultant and is helping others to lose weight.
She added: “I show people the pictures of how I was before and they can’t believe it’s me. They say it’s inspiring.
“It felt so good being that weight for the wedding because for some people it was the first time they had seen me like that.