A mum embarrassed by her size has transformed her life by losing more than seven stone, and is now determined to help others struggling with their weight.

The Comet: Yvonne was embarrassed by her size and decided to take back control of her eating. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle EdwardsYvonne was embarrassed by her size and decided to take back control of her eating. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Edwards (Image: Archant)

Yvonne Keating, an NHS worker from Stevenage, had let her weight spiral out of control and was at a low ebb when she decided to take control and transform her life.

She said: “My confidence had continued to fall over the years as I piled on weight, reaching almost 19 stone.

“I found it difficult to buy nice clothes to fit and avoided social invitations, including birthday celebrations and weddings. I missed out on big events in my life for far too long.”

The turning point for Yvonne came in August 2016, when she went on holiday with her family and the seatbelt on the plane didn’t fit around her and the tray in front couldn’t lay flat.

She said: “The shame and sadness I felt when I couldn’t get the seatbelt to fasten was the worst. My husband quietly asked an air steward for a belt extension, discretely passing it to me. With tears in my eyes I put it on quickly and covered it with a magazine.

“I had to wear a dress in the pool that year to hide my embarrassing size and I struggled to walk even the shortest distance without becoming breathless.

“The person I once was had become trapped inside a body which made me so unhappy, yet I had done nothing about it.”

When she returned home, Yvonne joined Slimming World, determined to make positive changes.

She said: “I was the biggest person there, yet I wasn’t judged or made to feel uncomfortable.

“I was so surprised at what I could eat and it didn’t feel like I was on a diet.

“In under 12 months - and in time for our next family holiday – I had lost seven-and-a-half stone and I went away with my family once again.

“This time, I had so much seat belt left on the plane once it was buckled that I was waving the spare piece around. I was so very proud of myself.

“I feel so passionate about Slimming World I have decided to use my success to help others change their lives and achieve their weight loss dreams too.”

Yvonne has trained as a Slimming World consultant and is relaunching the group at The Shephall Centre in Stevenage’s Shephall Green on July 18 at 7.30pm. For more information, call Yvonne on 07535 662764.