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Obese Southampton mother drops 8 stone in just one year

A mother-of-two who once ate 5,000 chocolate bars a year has lost an incredible 8st 3lbs after ditching the unhealthy snack.

At the height of her addiction, Charmaine Brooks, 34, of Southampton, weighed 18st 13lbs and would gorge on 14 bars a day.

After realising the dangerous toll it was taking on her body, the carer swapped the sugary snack for healthy balanced meals and has since dropped to 10st 10lbs.

But after taking up a diet plan dropped eight stone in just one year

Charmaine Brooks scoffed up to 5,000 chocolate bars a year seeing her reach 18st (left) but after taking up a diet plan dropped eight stone in just one year (right)

Charmaine, now a size 10, says: ‘Looking back, I can’t believe how many chocolate bars I used to get through.

‘It was hard to give up at first, but I’m glad I did. I’ll never let them rule my life again.’

From a young age, Charmaine struggled with her weight and at the age of 12 she was wearing size 16 clothes.

She says: ‘From my teenage years I was hooked on chocolate.

After a year of dieting Charmaine is now a slender 10st 10lbs and is a dress size 10 

After a year of dieting Charmaine is now a slender 10st 10lbs and is a dress size 10 

It was this photo taken of Charmaine and her family on a pedal bike that spurred her on to try and lose the weight 

It was this photo taken of Charmaine and her family on a pedal bike that spurred her on to try and lose the weight 

It was Charmaine's addiction to sugar that her put on weight as she would eat 14 bars of chocolate a day to feed her habit

It was Charmaine’s addiction to sugar that her put on weight as she would eat 14 bars of chocolate a day to feed her habit

‘I was a self-confessed chocaholic and could easily eat 14 bars a day – I needed a constant supply of sugar to feed my cravings.’

Buying the 200g bars in bulk, Charmaine was spending over £3,000 a year on her sugary habit.

By the age of 31, her weight had reached 18st 13lbs and she was a size 26.

Her husband Darren, 42, a roofer, didn’t mind her size – but Charmaine was depressed by her body.

While Charmaine's husband Darren reassured her that he was not bothered by her size she admitted feeling self conscious about it

While Charmaine’s husband Darren reassured her that he was not bothered by her size she admitted feeling self conscious about it

She says: ‘I started feeling more and more unhappy about my weight, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

‘To cheer myself up, I suggested to Darren that we go on holiday.’

In July 2014 the couple checked in to a caravan in Poole, Dorset, with their children Nathan, 15, and Aimee, 14.

Charmaine says: ‘On the first day, the kids and Darren wanted to go to the beach, but I stayed behind to tuck into the all-inclusive buffet.

Charmaine says that she feels attractive for the first time in her life

Charmaine says that she feels attractive for the first time in her life

‘Despite my earlier worries about my weight, I put it down as a holiday treat.’

The same day, Darren suggested the family hire a four-seater pedal car to explore the resort.

Charmaine says: ‘Immediately, I started worrying about whether I’d fit into the seat.

‘The car looked tiny, but I managed to squeeze in. Then a passer-by offered to take a picture, but before I could say no, she started snapping away.’

When Charmaine saw the photograph, she almost burst into tears.

She says: ‘My thighs were spilling out of the buggy and my arms looked massive.

‘I remember turning to Darren and saying, “Do I really look like that?”

‘He told me it didn’t matter because he loved me for who I was, but it didn’t help. I was welling up – I just couldn’t believe I was that big.’

For the rest of the holiday, Charmaine dwelled over the picture.

And when the family returned to their home in Southampton, she started researching diets.

She says: ‘Eventually, I decided to try a low-calorie diet called the Cambridge Weight Plan.

‘I read lots of reviews touting its effectiveness, so I thought I’d give it a go.’

Charmaine binned her chocolate bars and replaced her beloved snacks with healthy shakes, fresh vegetables and chicken.

She says: ‘Whenever my willpower gave out and I started craving sugar, I’d look at the picture of me in the buggy.

‘I didn’t want to be that person any more, and it motivated me to carry on.’

After three weeks of dieting, Charmaine had lost a stone.

She says: ‘It was a huge boost to my confidence and I felt on top of the world.

‘My chocolate cravings started easing so it was easier to carry on, but after the first stone, I felt even more motivated to continue.’

Over the next year, she lost 8st and shrunk down to a slim size 10.

Since then, she has lost an extra 3lbs, taking her down to her goal weight of 10st 10lbs.

Charmaine, who has dropped eight dress sizes, says: ‘Finally, I feel comfortable when I look in the mirror.

‘I love slipping into a little dress and going out with Darren. I feel attractive for the first time in my life.

‘The days of stuffing my face at buffets and snacking on 14 chocolate bars a day are gone.

‘I’m so glad I’ve learnt to love myself more than chocolate.’

CHARMAINE’S DIET BEFORE  

Breakfast – at least four chocolate bars or an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet

Lunch – McDonalds, crisps, chocolate bars

Dinner – a family dinner of steak, salad and jacket potatoes with butter and cheese, followed by a 200g bar of chocolate

Snacks – chocolate bars, crisps

CHARMAINE’S DIET NOW 

Breakfast – shredded wheat with skimmed milk and half a banana

Lunch – a Cambridge shake or a salad

Dinner – fish, vegetables and sweet potato

Snacks – Cambridge bar, fruit, lots of water

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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