A mum who almost capsized a boat on a family holiday has shed half of her body weight with exercise and healthy eating. Rachel Mellor, a former teaching assistant, was 28 stone and size 32 at her biggest, but celebrated turning 50 this year at 13 stone 10 lb.
Rachel, now a size 14, says being put on a diet at just six-years-old triggered an unhealthy relationship with food that followed her through life. The final straw came when the mum-of-two was holidaying at the seaside with her two daughters Catherine, 12, and university student Elizabeth, 23, with her accountant husband Richard, 52.
“We were living in Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast in the time and I decided to take the kids out on a vessel, ” Rachel, said. “It was a big thing, with at least 20 or so people on it already.
“But when We went to get on the particular boat dipped hugely under me. With that many people on it already, you’d think one more wouldn’t make a difference. I was so embarrassed.
“I was ordered to sit right in the middle of the boat. I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. ”
The incident was in August 2015 when, weighing 28st 1lb plus a size 32 from 5ft 9in, Rachel had a body mass index (BMI) of 58 – more than double the particular top of the NHS healthy range of 18. 5 to 24. 9, making her dangerously obese.
Finally facing the girl problem, Rachel joined WW (formerly Weight Watchers) the same month and started changing her lifestyle by cutting back on portion sizes and limiting things like bread and pasta, which she was used to eating in huge amounts.
She said: “I has been lucky I didn’t have any health issues. But it was only the matter of time until that happened.
“I couldn’t run around after either of my daughters when they were young. I couldn’t go on funfair rides, but it was nearly capsizing the vessel that I found mortifying! ”
A simple shopping trick was key to Rachel’s success. She would send her husband Richard shopping with a list, in order to avoid her being tempted to buy extra calorific treats.
“I’d write a list and he’d stick to it. Chocolate wasn’t on there. It was quite simply a case of if I didn’t have this in the house, I actually wouldn’t eat it. ”
Rachel had struggled with her weight all her life but feels that being put on a diet aged six, whenever she was simply a “chubby child, ” triggered the girl secret eating problems. She explained: “I was always overweight. But, looking back now, when I was a kid, I was chubby.
“I wasn’t hugely obese. Being put on the diet at just six-years-old simply meant I started eating in secret. ”
Always big growing up, she then gained weight once she settled into married life with Richard after tying the knot 28 years ago, which was compounded by her first pregnancy. Struggling to conceive her second daughter, she managed to lose 5st between having her two children, but then gained more weight with the arrival of her youngest girl.
She said: “I’m a full-time mum now, but I was working full-time then as a teaching assistant and there wasn’t a lot of time for planning and cooking.
“We’d have takeaways nearly every week. There were always cakes and chocolates in the staff room at school and I’d eat all of those, too.
“Then I’d go to the supermarket to do the shopping and reward myself having a bar of chocolate on the way home. ” While her boating embarrassment got her through the doors of a slimming club in August 2015, Rachel’s initial commitment was half-hearted.
She said: “I spent the next few years losing and gaining the particular same stone. I wasn’t sticking to the plan. Life just got in the way and I wasn’t prioritising myself. ”
But in 2019, Rachel and her family moved to Ossett, West Yorkshire, with regard to Richard’s work, and she stopped working, giving her time to recommit to dieting, especially when the country went into its first Covid lockdown. Determined to shift her excess weight for good went back to WW and began planning all the family’s meals within advance.
Only initially wanting to reach a size 18, Rachel’s weight loss continued, and she was soon walking five miles a day. In time regarding her big 50th birthday party in May 2022, which she celebrated with the murder mystery bash, she was a slimline size 14/16, weighing 13st 10lb, giving her a far healthier BMI of 28. 3.
Having lost 14st 3lb, Rachel said: “I’ve got to where my happy weight is. I could lose more, but I wouldn’t be able in order to maintain it.
“The girls and Richard are so proud of me. And I is proud of myself. I’m active with my family for the first time. Just the other day we were playing Frisbee, while the old me would just have been sat in the car. ”
Breakfast – cereal and skimmed milk
Lunch – three slices of bread inside a sandwich, a lot of fruit
Dinner – huge portions of pasta or two chicken Kyivs and tinned spaghetti
Snacks – chocolate
Drinks : water and coffee
Breakfast time – porridge oats with raspberries and blueberries
Lunch – salad or spinach with smoked fish
Dinner – chicken and jacket potatoes and salad or a small portion of spag bol
Snacks – chickpea cake and fruit
Drinks – water
For more information or details on how to join WW, visit www.ww.com/uk.