A 50-year-old woman who needed a seatbelt extension on a flight has opened up about how she dropped six dress sizes without going to the gym.
Wendy Watson, originally from Leeds in the UK but now lives in Melbourne, tipped the scales at 136 kilograms at her heaviest.
The mother-of-two said she had tried every diet imaginable to lose weight because she was suffering excruciating pain in her knees and hips.
The British woman, who works as a director of nursing at a hospital, would be out of breath just from walking up a flight of stairs or down the street.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Ms Watson said she shed an incredible 46 kilograms – simply by eating smaller food portions and doing at least 10,000 steps a day.
Before and after: Mother Wendy Watson dropped six dress sizes without going to the gym
WENDY WATSON’S DAY ON A PLATE
Breakfast: Porridge or a bacon and egg bun
Lunch: Toasted sandwich or a salad
Snack: Piece of fruit
Dinner: Chicken fettuccine with carrot juice
Dessert: Yoghurt or apple crumble with ice cream
‘Before I lost weight my knees and hips ached most of the time, so it became really painful when I walked short distances. I was much less active and I was struggling to walk a flight of stairs,’ Ms Watson told FEMAIL.
The mother said she would resort to wearing unflattering ‘tent’ clothes after struggling to find garments big enough to fit her larger frame at normal stores.
‘I couldn’t find any nice clothes to fit me,’ she said.
Juggling the demands of her hectic work life and motherhood, Ms Watson said she believed the weight gain spiralled out of control after she moved to Australia seven years old.
‘From there, I was putting on a stone (around six kilos) every year,’ she said.
‘I would probably go all day without eating. But by the time I’d get home, I would eat all the wrong foods because I was hungry.
‘I wasn’t someone who would eat four packets of biscuits – it never got to a point where I’d binge eat – but I was eating larger portions of meals and more takeaways.
‘I work crazy hours, so I think I was not being active and overeating, especially at the wrong times at night.’
Juggling the demands of her hectic work life and motherhood, Ms Watson said she believed the weight gain spiralled out of control after she moved to Australia seven years old
Fabulous at 50! She lost 46 kilograms after simply eating smaller food portions and doing at least 10,000 steps a day
She said a conversation she had with her now 11-year-old son made her realise she needed to do something with her weight.
‘I remembered one time, a Lamborghini drove past us and I said to my son: “wouldn’t I look cool driving in one of those?”,’ Ms Watson recalled.
‘He turned to me and said: “Mum, you wouldn’t fit in a Lamborghini”. I responded: “you’re right”. I didn’t tell him off. He was just being truthful and honest.
‘I wasn’t upset because he was right – I couldn’t fit in a Lamborghini.’
Her turning point followed when she was left feeling humiliated after being unable to strap herself into her seat on a plane.
‘I was embarrassed when I needed a seatbelt extender for flying,’ she recalled.
And another trip home to see her family and friends in the UK for Christmas last year was enough to inspire her to lose weight.
‘I just couldn’t bear the thought that they would see me larger and fatter than I was when I last went home,’ she said.
The mother (pictured with her 11-year-old son) said she would resort to wearing unflattering ‘tent’ clothes after struggling to find garments to fit her at normal stores
After booking her flights in early January 2016, she tried all the diets in the world – but to no avail.
‘I’ve done every diet brought into the world,’ she said.
‘I did lose weight but it would come back.’
Feeling ambitious, she decided to join Jenny Craig in a desperate attempt to lose weight before the festive season.
‘I started following a meal plan, where I would eat food every two hours. The meals deprived me from eating anything more,’ she said.
‘I was eating smaller portions and doing some exercise. My consultant Kelly has been absolutely inspiring. She’s just phenomenal for being there every step of the way.’
Nearly two years on, the mother said she has since shed 46.5 kilograms without joining a gym
And nearly two years on, the mother said she has since shed a staggering 46.5 kilograms without joining a gym.
‘I haven’t gone through the gym because my job is really busy so I couldn’t fit it into my life – and I’m not a gym junkie,’ she said, laughing.
‘I also have two kids so my days are very long, I don’t want to go to a gym at 4am or 9pm at night. I just couldn’t handle it.
‘I walk the dog every weekend and I do a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. If I haven’t done my 10,000 steps, I jump on my cross trainer.
‘At first, I was only able to do two minutes on the cross trainer, now I can easily do 40 minutes.’
The mother said her 11-year-old son (pictured together) made her realise she needed to do something about her weight after he said she ‘wouldn’t be able to fit in a Lamborghini’
Ms Watson said she used to hide from the cameras because she felt self conscious about her body image
Despite following a strict meal plan, Ms Watson said she treats herself with a nice meal out once a week.
‘If I go out for lunch, I’ll have a lighter meal for dinner,’ she said.
‘The meal plan allows you to eat out one night a week and have a glass of alcohol. So if I do choose that freedom, I would just cut out snacks for the day so it’s balanced.’
After turning her life around, Ms Watson said she has been bombarded with compliments from her family, friends, work colleagues and even strangers.
‘My husband is really pleased with me and the kids have noticed I’m a lot more active at home, ‘ she said.
‘After losing weight, my son said I can easily fit in a Lamborghini now. One day I’m going to hire a Lambo to surprise him when I pick him up at school.
‘Whether I’m fat or thin – I’m still a mum, wife or colleague. But I do feel so much better, I look younger, have more energy and I’m walking faster.
‘At work, I get compliments every day, even from people who I don’t know.
‘My skin, hair and nails are looking healthy as well. I’m eating enough carbs and minerals. I am now looking fit and fab at 50 and not fat.’
Looking at old photographs of herself, Ms Watson – who went from a size 24/26 to now a size 14/16 – said she used to hide from the cameras because she felt self conscious about her body image.
‘I didn’t have much photos taken of me. But my husband loved taking photos so when he pulled the camera out, I would hide or not stand up,’ she recalled.
‘Now, if you take a picture of me, I have to take a second look because I can’t recognise myself.
‘I was big, so the pictures always made me look big. But now, I look and think, “is that really me?”‘