Weight loss Karen has gone from 25 stone to slim size 14
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Karen Mitchell had always loved fashion and vintage clothes but weighing 25 stone, had always hated shopping.
When her weight meant she needed to have her work uniform especially ordered, the 38-year-old decided it was time to take control and make some changes. And in the space of 18 months, Karen has lost 11 stone 7lbs.
She is now active - taking part in the Gorleston park run, going swimming and walking when simply getting up from the sofa was once a challenge.
Starting the new year with a whole new style, Karen, who lives in Havelock Road, Great Yarmouth, with partner Daniel, wants to encourage others struggling to lose weight to make 2014 the year they succeed.
'I've always struggled with my weight, even as a child I was big,' said Karen, who works as a machine operator at the Britvic factory in Norwich.
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'As I grew up, I always felt like the big one and seemed to spend most of my time hiding away and letting the shyness get the better of me. As I got older the lack of confidence led me into bad relationships as my self-esteem was so bad. I settled for things instead of being ambitious.'
Karen said it might sound superficial but one of her lowest ebbs was having to buy a pair of jeans in size 32. The day she was too embarrassed to have work clothes ordered online was the 'final straw'.
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And just a year and half after she bought 52-inch waist trousers from eBay, Karen is a slim size 14 with her eyes set on being a size 12 by the summer.
'Now I've lost weight I feel so much better,' she said.
'I feel like finally, I can achieve anything I put my mind to all it needs is my best effort and I know I can do it.
'I can do lots of things now I couldn't do before. I can run 5K in under 35 minutes. That is something I never, ever thought I would be able to do and I love it.
'I no longer have to analyse the chairs in a restaurant to see if I can fit into them, or panic over ordering new work clothes. I also enjoy just walking, whereas before it was hard work even getting off the sofa.'
After Karen lost the first five stone in just six months, her partner Daniel, 37, also joined the Priory Centre Slimming World group . He has lost 6st 5lbs in nine months to now weighs 13st 4lbs and together the couple have overhauled their attitude to healthy eating and living life to the full.
'Now that I've lost weight, I'll never let myself be self conscious again,' said Karen.
'I just want to be happy, and feeling healthier and fitter goes a very long way to making me feel more comfortable in my own skin.'
'I'm so very proud of Karen,' said Claire Rawlinson, who runs the Priory Centre Slimming World group.
'She is a real inspiration.'