Weight loss: I lost 17st in 17 months after eating myself into oblivion – now my friends don’t recognise me – The Sun

FOR Meghan See, food was an emotional crutch.

It became an addiction, given any excuse the 30-year-old said she would "eat herself into oblivion".

Meghan would eat all day long, indulging her love of fast food at McDonald's and Burger King, while snacking on Poptarts, cookies and other calorie-laden treats.

At her heaviest, she weighed 30st and was wearing a UK dress size 32.

Meghan was shamed for not fitting on rides at amusement parks, she couldn't squeeze into booths at restaurants and couldn't even put her shoes on without being out of breath.

She struggled to find clothes to fit her – even in plus-sized shops.

But the turning point came when Meghan, from Broadway, Virginia in the US, started to suffering crippling arthritis.

She struggled to walk and had to sit at work with heat pads on her joints to ease her agony.

As it dawned on Meghan that she might not live to see her daughter grow up, she vowed to overhaul her lifestyle.

"Ultimately reaching 30st was my own fault," she said.

"I kept making bad choices and excuses all the time.

"I blamed stress at work, bad relationships, being a single mum. I blamed everything and everyone else for my choice to use food as an emotional crutch.

"It became an addiction and in the end it didn't matter if I had a good day or a bad one.

"I would sooth myself or reward myself with food to deal with any emotion I was feeling."

Meghan said as her weight crept up and up, she became more and more unhappy.

"All I wanted was to just fit in, like normal," she said.

"I wasn't able to fit in the spaces at restaurants. Even shopping for clothes at plus-sized stores, I would cross my fingers and hope they had something big enough to fit.

"Towards the end of my weight gain I was losing mobility.

"I was so unhappy with myself. I felt weak and I had no control and I knew I needed to lose weight."

Desperate to make changes, Meghan turned to her sister for help – after she had successfully lost weight.

With her sister's help, the mum-of-one overhauled her diet, replacing bread and pasta with plates of healthy veggies.

Her staple breakfast now consists of eggs, peanut butter and fruit, while she eats meat and veggies for lunch and dinner.

I blamed stress at work, bad relationships, being a single mum. I blamed everything and everyone else for my choice to use food as an emotional crutch

At the start of her weight loss journey, Meghan did very little exercise.

But, as the pounds began to drop off, she added yoga and walking into her busy life, before upgrading to HIIT classes and weights.

By May, she weighed 12st 12lbs and could fit into a smaller UK dress size 12.

Meghan lost a staggering 17st in just 17 months – and she said her transformation has been so extreme, even good friends don't recognise her.

"Some people are in disbelief and they congratulate me, and tell me how happy they are to see me happy too," Meghan said.

"Opening up about my struggles and sharing them has helped me connect with other women who have felt the same.

"It really helps knowing you're not alone.

"The hardest thing on this path is making sure you are consistent in your efforts, it's key.

"Everyone knows that to be healthy you need to eat veggies and move more often.

"But it can be challenging to do it everyday. I set myself daily challenges, like eating a certain number of veggies. Trying new things keeps it fun."

Meghan said something happened to her the day she vowed to lose weight, adding: "I simply realised I loved myself and I've kept that with me through this journey.

"My goal has not been to look better, although it's a nice by-product. It's been to feel better and be healthy.

"Start by believing you're worthy of these changes.

"If you learn to love yourself a bit first, you'll find it much easier to stick with it."

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