A mum has dropped three dress sizes in just eight months after being ‘fat-shamed’ by her seven-year-old daughter.
Donna King, of Athelstan Road in Thanington, says an off-the-cuff comment made by Sophie, now eight, about her being too large to run shocked her into shedding the pounds.
“The children wanted me to play and as my son egged me on to run after him, my daughter said calmly ‘Mummy can’t run, she’s too fat’,” said Miss King, who at her heaviest was 17 stone on her 5ft 3in frame.
“That comment changed everything. That’s how they were growing up thinking about me, that’s how they saw me.
“I didn’t want them having that impression. I felt hurt for them.”
The 32-year-old, who also has sons Callum, seven, and Oscar, five, says she struggled with her weight as a teenager, which continued into adulthood.
“I was put on Prozac at 11 following some major family changes that affected me emotionally,” she explained.
“From then on, I struggled with confidence and feelings of failure which led to comfort eating, weight gain and yo-yo dieting.”
After more setbacks, including the breakdown of the relationship with her children’s father and debt issues, she slipped further into depression, and with it, her weight ballooned.
“If there is a point below rock bottom, I was there,” she said.
“My confidence hit an all-time low. As I stagnated, I gained more weight on top of the extra weight I was already carrying as I ate my way through foods that made me feel better, until my tiny 5ft 3in frame was carrying nearly 17 stone.
“I was so poorly that in 2015 I was offered counselling for my depression.
“I was diagnosed with PTSD, along with borderline personality disorder.”
Eventually, with help from debt counselling group Christians Against Poverty, Miss King managed to get her life back on track.
But she was still overweight and depressed – until Sophie made her throwaway comment.
“The children wanted me to play and as my son egged me on to run after him, my daughter said calmly ‘Mummy can’t run, she’s too fat’,” – Donna King
“It was a kind of challenge. I thought ‘I’ll show you, I’ll lose this weight’” said Miss King.
In May last year she started attending a Weight Watchers workshop at Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre, which helped her recognise her mood-food connection, and she started going to the gym five times a week, as well as yoga and Zumba.
“I have gone from a size 22 to a 16 and my lowest weight has been 14 stone,” she said.
“I still have some weight to lose, but more important to me is my head space.”
Spurred on by her new-found confidence, she passed a tattoo and piercing course and is now looking to launch a new career.
She added: “I now have a bright future ahead of me and my children can be proud.”