A woman has lost an incredible 13 stone in just 18 months after ditching fizzing drinks and fatty foods in place of healthy, home-cooked grub.
Julia Spence, 45, began to gain weight after injuring her achilles tendon in 2002 while kickboxing.
She turned to cheese cobs and wine for comfort when she was forced to give up her beloved hobby and reached 26 stone and a size 30 at her heaviest.
After more than a decade of steadily gaining weight, the office worker decided it was time to take drastic action.
The turning point for Julia came when she was unable to use a regular seatbelt while on a flight to Cyprus.
“I tried to sit in the seat but I could not fit because I couldn’t get the seat belt to reach. It was terrible. I faced the humiliation of telling the staff,” she said.
“They then walked down the aisle with longer seat belts and they had to change them. It was humiliating.
“The staff might as well have just shouted: ‘There is a fat person here and she can’t fit in her seat.’ But I don’t blame them.
“I also could not pull the tray down because my weight blocked it. I knew from that point it could not continue.”
When she returned home from holiday she joined Slimming World and in just 18 months she lost 13 stone and is now a size 12.
Mum-of-four Julia, from Allenton, Derby, celebrated her new trim figure by posing in a pair of her old jeans with husband Tony, 45.
She said: “Before my injury I was 12 stone and really into kickboxing. I’d do it twice a week and I loved it.
“After the injury, I got quite down because I could no longer do kickboxing and I put three stone on very quickly and then it spiralled from there. I started to look a different woman.
“I ended up having to change my life to avoid getting into problems because of my weight.
“I rarely went clothes shopping in case the clothes did not fit and I would never go to the toilet on a plane in case I got stuck.
“I also rarely looked in the mirror because of how I looked.”
Julia said it “feels odd” to have lost as much weight as her husband weighs.
“It is a very strange feeling to think I am walking around half the weight I was. I am so pleased though,” she added.
Husband Tony, an insurance manager, said: “I have known her for 30 years and she was very thin when we started to go out.
“I didn’t like her being big but that is what happened after the injury. I have always loved her though.
“But, after joining Slimming World, it has been incredible. It is like being with a different woman, like the old Julia.
“It is very strange to think she has lost the weight that I am. I struggle to get my head around it but I think it is amazing.
“She is fantastic and I am so proud of her.”