Changing room slimmer

Fitness model before and after

A woman who lost control of her weight following a divorce slimmed down FIVE dress sizes after the sight of her reflection in a changing room mirror made her “recoil in horror”.

Yvonne Asare, 31, reached size 18 amid the breakdown of her marriage in 2010.

After an embarrassing incident in a shop changing room, in which she was confronted with her overweight frame, she became determined to slim down and eventually dropped down to the 9st 5lb, size eight she is today.

She said: “I found myself in a changing room with all-round mirrors, and there was no getting away from seeing how far I’d let myself go.

“I didn’t have a full-length mirror at home so it was rare to see all of me at the same time.

“I was completely horrified. I went straight to my brother, who was a gym freak, and asked for his help.”

Miss Asare, a legal secretary of Wallington in Surrey, found herself reaching for comfort foods as her seven-year-long marriage came to an end in 2010.

She said: “Towards the end of the relationship I was very unhappy and I put on so much weight.

“My favourite comfort food was stuffed-crust pepperoni pizza. I also didn’t realise how many calories were in sugary drinks. I loved hot chocolate, but a mug can easily be 300 calories – the equivalent of a small meal.

“It was easy going for snacks and indulging in pizza to lift my mood, even though it was doing me no favours at all in the long-run.”

Shortly after her divorce Miss Asare visited the Dorothy Perkins store in Chancery Lane in London for some retail therapy.

She said: “I had been buying larger and larger clothes, without giving it much thought.

“But when I saw myself in the mirror, from every angle, I thought ‘oh my goodness’. It was like a bolt from the blue.”

Miss Asare immediately sought the advice of her brother Jonathan Asare, 26, who advised her to overhaul her diet and hit the gym.

She said: “Jonathan was brilliant – he told me exactly what to do. I gradually made the gym into my own personal getaway. I made friends there and fell into the habit of going five times a week.

“It was hugely motivating to see the weight come off.”

Before beginning her weight loss challenge, when she weighed 14st 2lb and wore size 18 clothing, Miss Asare typically had a large hot chocolate followed by a cream cheese bagel with bacon for breakfast. For lunch she ate a takeaway burger with chips and a coke, and her evening meal would be a steak and ale pie with chips, or pizza. She would snack on chocolate bars, like KitKats, during the day.

Today, weighing 9st 5lb and wearing size eight clothing, she has a protein shake for breakfast, followed by grilled pork with green leafy salad for lunch, and grilled chicken with broccoli and salad for her evening meal. Snacks, when she has them, consist of lower-fat crisps and fruit.

She said: “I’m so grateful to Jonathan for giving me the push I needed. I was in a unhappy place around the time of my divorce, now I feel incredibly lucky and happy to have got to where I am today.

“I’ve got no fears about going into changing rooms any more. In fact, I love shopping more than ever.

“Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in shop windows as I’m going around town, and I’m very glad with what I see.”

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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