A MUM has dropped a whopping five dress sizes after she was given a Christmas present which left her in tears.
Rachel Cartwright, 28, from Heaton, was given a size 18 t-shirt, but was left devastated when it didn’t fit – so she went on to lose 4.5st.
The finance assistant, from Heaton, had always felt comfortable with her body and didn’t think she was that big.
But as she watched the buttons gape on the shirt, she felt embarrassed to measure a size 20 at 20-years-old and knew she had to make a change.
Rachel, now 28, said: "At the time I didn't think I was that big.
“It's not until I look back on photos or put on that same shirt which was too small for me all those years ago [that I realise] I was shy and really lacked confidence in myself."
After seeing her reaction, Rachel’s mum suggested that they join Slimming World together.
And now she has lost 4.5 stone and is and is “loving life” with her new size 10 figure, after slimming from 14st 1lb to 9st 7lb.
The mum-of-two said: "I feel amazing, my confidence is high and simply loving life – how couldn't you knowing you're healthier?"
Rachel has switched regular and convenient takeaways for home cooked meals and has now "fallen in love" with cooking.
She said: "My friends and I would often walk to the shop and binge on all sorts. I wasn't really fussy what it was, as long as it was sweet.
"On top of that I probably had a takeaway three or four times a week.
"At one point, I even recall a local takeaway employee mutter to another ‘she's back again’ and that truly devastated me.”
Rachel added: "Now I've fallen in love with cooking.
“My breakfast is always packed full of fruit and my main meals are mainly protein and veg.
"I still enjoy a chicken curry, except I make it at home now and I've swapped out the chips and rice for some low carb cauliflower egg fried rice, keeping calories low but food satisfaction high."
The mum to Nathan, four, and Ellie, two, has also found that her eight years as a member of Slimming World has helped her to cope with challenges in her life, most recently Nathan’s cancer diagnosis.
On 16 September 2020, the family received the devastating news that Nathan had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL).
Rachel said: "Slimming World has supported me through university, office jobs with it's tempting treats, my wedding, two healthy pregnancies and stressful house moves.
"Most recently it has got me through lockdown and the recent cancer diagnosis of my eldest who’s four."
She added: "Without sounding cheesy, I'm a firm believer that Slimming World is a journey, not a destination.
"I've been part of this group for more than eight years now, during that time I've never had to ‘press pause’ on my life and say I can't do something because I'm on Slimming World.
"I still went out drinking, I still had takeaways – although not quite as many – and I still give in to my sweet temptations."
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And a woman dropped 5st without exercising – instead she bought a size 12 goal pair of jeans.
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