A mother-of-five was inspired to slim down EIGHT dress sizes after experiencing a terrifying dream in which she was left trapped in a housefire because firemen could not lift her from her burning bed.
Teaching assistant Kim Lee, 40, reached 17st 3lb and wore size 26 clothing after years of comfort eating and grazing.
A horrifying dream, in which she imagined being left to burn alive because noone was strong enough to rescue her, provided the turning point she needed to turn her lifestyle around.
She started a diet and exercise plan that saw her shrink down to the 10st 7lb, size 10 she is today.
She said: “I woke up with a start – the dream felt absolutely real. It shook me to my core.
“It was such a disturbing and embarrassing experience that I’ve hardly told anyone about it. But it was enough to get me started on losing weight for good.”
Miss Lee, who is mother to Leanne, aged 19, Amy, 15, Billy, 13, Lily, 10 and Danny, 9, with her partner of 24 years, Jamie McClatchie, 43, put on weight as a consequence of long-standing back problems.
She said: “My breast size had caused problems since my teenage years. I had awful shoulder, back and neck problems which wouldn’t go away.
“I used that as an excuse not to lose weight. Being so top-heavy I thought it wouldn’t make any difference if the rest of me was slim or not, so the weight piled on.
“Having children didn’t help. At each pregnancy I convinced myself I was eating for two, and as the kids grew up I found myself habitually eating their leftovers and grazing at their snack food during the day.”
In July 2010, when Miss Lee was at her heaviest weight, she went to bed not anticipating the shock which awaited her.
She said: “I dreamed I was in our flat, when the whole place burst into flames. A fireman appeared at the window, and tried to lift me out of the room.
“He couldn’t get a grip on me because of my size. Then he climbed back out of the window, and left me there to die.
“It was terrible. I woke up with a start but was too shaken to talk to Jamie about it.”
Miss Lee, of Croydon, decided to hit the gym and cut out sugary and fatty snacks, losing more than two stone, before she decided to give the Kickstart Fat Loss programme a try.
She said: “As I started to lose weight, I decided to address my back problems. I went to my doctor in the summer of 2013 and asked about the possibility of breast reduction surgery.
“He was very supportive, but a consultant at the hospital told me I needed to lost another two-and-a-half stone before I would qualify for the operation on the NHS.
“I was sure I wouldn’t be able to get there but I asked my slimming consultant for support and through dieting and exercise I managed to get there by February this year.”
Miss Lee underwent breast reduction surgery in July 2014.
She has managed to maintain her slim figure by continuing to follow the Kickstart Fat Loss diet programme.
At her heaviest weight, Miss Lee typically ate three slices of toast with peanut butter for breakfast, followed by fried egg sandwiches for lunch, and a Chinese takeaway for her evening meal. She would snack on crisps and chocolate, with cups of coffee and cans of coke throughout the day.
Today, she enjoys a boiled egg with asparagus for breakfast, with chicken salad for lunch and white fish with steamed vegetables for evening meal. She tends not to snack.
She said: “Now that I’m slimmer and don’t suffer with back problems any more, I feel like a completely new person.
“I used to struggle to climb the stairs and even walking was difficult – I could only waddle. Now, I’m much healthier and I can keep up with the kids much easier.
“I work as a teaching assistant in a primary reception class, so I need as much as energy as I can get, and I certainly have that now.”
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