Bedtime story inspires young mother to weight loss success
- Credit: Archant
A mum who once got so out of breath chasing her little girl up the stairs that she was unable to read her a bedtime story has lost nearly half her body weight to win a national award.
At her heaviest Hollie Barrett tipped the scales at 17st 11lbs and feared her children would be bullied because of her size.
Now the 30-year-old, from Blundeston, has shed 8st 6lbs and dropped six dress sizes – going from a size 20 to an 8 – to be named Slimming World's Woman of the Year 2016.
Ms Barrett had been overweight for most of her life and often turned to food for comfort, including after losing her mum to breast cancer in 2013.
It was in May 2015, after seeing a friend posting about her success with Slimming World on Facebook that she decided to join her local group.
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Hollie Barrett, who lives with partner Thomas and their two children Ethan, 11, and four-year-old Imogen, said: 'After we lost mum I started to really think about my health and my future. I wanted to be around for my kids and to be able to do all the normal things that mums do while they were still young. I didn't want them to be bullied at school because their mum was so overweight either.'
Despite initial nerves within minutes of walking into the Beccles Slimming World group she explains she knew she was in the right place.
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After years of following strict fad diets which left her feeling hungry, through the guidance of Slimming World consultants she developed a new healthier eating plan to enable her to achieve her goals.
She said: 'My partner Thomas is a great cook and we all enjoy the same healthy meals as a family now. 'We're also a more active family – we love going on long walks and enjoy more active holidays.
'I felt like my weight was holding me back in every aspect of my life, especially when it came to doing things with my children.
'I once chased Imogen up the stairs to bed and was so breathless I couldn't speak properly to read her a book – it broke my heart. Now I finally feel like the person – and the mum – I was meant to be all along.'