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Wexford Size 26 cheese addict reveals 10-stone weight loss

A mother-of-three has revealed how her addiction to eating cheese saw her weight rise so much that she feared for her life – and was shamed into losing weight by Facebook. 

Jennie McDonagh, 35, from Wexford, Ireland, tipped the scales at 21 stone after frequently gorging herself on cheese-based snacks, fry-ups and greasy takeaways.

When she began wearing a size 26 dress, she banned family and friends from uploading images of her on social media and would fall out with those who did post photos. 

 

Jennie McDonagh, 35, from Wexford, Ireland, weighed in at 21-stone and lived in fear of Facebook and friends uploading images of her to the social media platform

After begging friends not to post images of her on social media, the prospect of a friend's wedding - and the photographs - finally shocked her into going on a diet and embarking upon a strict exercise regime

After begging friends not to post images of her on social media, the prospect of a friend’s wedding – and the photographs – finally shocked her into going on a diet and embarking upon a strict exercise regime

When a close friend announced that she was getting married, Jennie, a single parent, decided the wedding would be the catalyst for her weight loss.

She vowed to slim down, and, thanks to a heavy exercise regime and healthy eating, shed a staggering 9 stone 9lb in just six months, averaging out at just over one and a half stone a month.

Of her previous physique, Jennie says: ‘Just looking through photos of myself brought me out in buckets of sweat.’

‘I’d think, “‘Shoot me”, when I saw myself on the screen.

Jennie, who now weighs 11 stone 12lb and is mum to David, 11, Mark, seven, and Lauryn, two, says she had always battled with her weight.

She recalled one occasion where, after her mother told her she needed to eat healthily, she burst into tears.

Ta da! The mother-of-three unveiled her slimmed-down physique at her friend's wedding after finally ditching her 5,000-calorie a day diet that would see her eat fry-ups, cakes, biscuits and lots of cheese

Ta da! The mother-of-three unveiled her slimmed-down physique at her friend’s wedding after finally ditching her 5,000-calorie a day diet that would see her eat fry-ups, cakes, biscuits and lots of cheese

She continued: ‘I ran out the house crying and carrying a big block of cheese. I was scared she’d take it away from me. As I got older, I’d just eat all of the time.

‘I absolutely loved cheese. I’d put grated mozzarella into bags of prawn cocktail crisps and eat three bags in a row.

I felt like I’d become too fat for Facebook. I’d got so camera-conscious that I wouldn’t go on there for days. I didn’t want to look at myself…

‘When the kids went to bed I’d have several huge helpings of food for tea, I’d not know when to stop.’

As Jennie’s size ballooned to a hefty 21 stone 7lb, she continued to eat a fry-up for breakfast and snack on cakes, crisps and chocolate all day.

Then, in the evening, she’d gorge on fast food like pizza, Chinese and chips.

Eventually, her 5,000-calorie-a-day diet meant she became too ashamed to even look at photos of herself.

The single mother said she began to fear for her children's future if she didn't lose weight

The single mother said she began to fear for her children’s future if she didn’t lose weight

Jennie says her eating - and particularly her cheese addiction - got out of control after she gave birth to her children

Snacks would include prawn cocktail crisps with grated mozzarella in them

Jennie says her eating – and particularly her cheese addiction – got out of control after she gave birth to her children. Snacks would include prawn cocktail crisps with grated mozzarella in them

Walking four miles a day and running every other day on a second-hand treadmill has helped Jennie shed the weight - and she says she's never felt better

Walking four miles a day and running every other day on a second-hand treadmill has helped Jennie shed the weight – and she says she’s never felt better

‘I felt like I’d become too fat for Facebook. I’d got so camera conscious that I wouldn’t go on there for days. I didn’t want to look at myself,’ she said.

Even at her only daughter Lauryn’s christening, Jennie considered imposing a photo ban, so she wouldn’t have to face up to her size.

I realised I couldn’t be massive my whole life. If anything happened to me and my parents, I didn’t know who would look after my kids…

‘I’d steer clear of cameras, and beg friends to crop me out of photos or not upload them at all,’ she added.

‘If they did, I’d phone them up and sometimes even fall out with them over it.’

In January this year, with six months to go until friend Melissa Kelly’s wedding on June 16, Jennie decided she needed to change.

Determined not to be ‘the one hiding in the background anymore,’ she spoke to neighbour Lisa Rossitor, 28, who’d enrolled in Slimming World.

‘I asked a friend, Trisha Jordan, 42, to take some photos of me at my biggest, and I decided there’s no going back,’ said Jennie.

‘I realised I couldn’t be massive my whole life. If anything happened to me and my parents, I didn’t know who would look after my kids.’

So, Jennie started walking four miles every morning and ran every night on a second-hand treadmill.

What mum used to wear! Jennie’s sons try out one of her old size 26 garments…while Jennie’s staggering weight-loss is clear when she puts the jacket on herself

Eating overnight oats for breakfast, a plain ham sandwich for lunch, and turkey sausages with vegetables for dinner, she cut snacking out completely.

‘I was really disciplined, and the weight just seemed to drop off,’ she told.

By the time her friend’s wedding, at small village church in Rathangan, County Wexford, arrived Jennie had lost almost eight stone.

‘I felt a million dollars. I was wearing a Holly Willoughby size 12 dress and looked and felt amazing,’ she beamed.

‘I’d had my hair and make-up done, too, it really was the best day for me.’

Since then, Jennie has completed her weight-loss regime, shedding another two stone.

She added: ‘I can do so much with my kids now I’m slimmer. I’ve never looked back. Even if you are a single parent on a tight budget, you can still lose weight and transform your life, anything is possible.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk