Katy Reynolds remembers day-to-day life before she lost so much weight she dropped eight dress sizes.
Wales Online reported “Strangers would fat shame her in the street in front of her children, who she couldn’t play with or take swimming. She was “miserable, glum and just going through the motions.”
Now Katy wants to share her story after dropping from a dress size of 26 to a dress size of 10/12 and becoming “happy, positive and outgoing”.
Katy said: “I couldn’t take my kids swimming, I couldn’t run around and play with them, I would get out of breath just from walking up the stairs.
“People used to swear at me, call me a fat cow, told me I should be ashamed of myself and I was an embarrassment. On my way home with my children I heard someone say ‘Here comes the beached whale, better call Greenpeace’.
But Katy said her kids – Josh, Ollie and Esmee – have always been her biggest supporters, even before her weight loss.
She said: “My eldest son, Josh, always told people what’s what, he used to say ‘Don’t talk to my mum like that, she’s beautiful’. Now he goes around telling people I’ve lost eight and a half stone. He actually cried when I hit my target weight.”
Katy, 30, from Aberystwyth, remembers the exact moment she decided enough was enough and it was time to lose weight.
She said: “My friend who had been recommend by the doctor for a gastric band weighed less than me. She suggested that I looked into getting one. That really upset me – I didn’t want to have to go through that. I felt I was letting my kids down.
“So although I lived one minute away from where the Slimming World group meetings were held I got my friend to drive me to make sure I sat in that chair and stayed for the meeting.”
Katy joined Slimming World – but when she wanted to eat out she carried Fry Light oil in her bag and asked if restaurants could use it to cook her food instead of the oil they had.
She said: “All the restaurants in Aberystwyth now know what I like to order before I have to even say – I used to make sure I looked at the menu before I go anywhere and would always ask for stuff to be taken off.”
Katy emphasised it eventually became clear to her that it was okay to have bad days, but it was difficult to forget what people had shouted at her.
She said: “It was hard trying to forget the pressures of what people used to shout at me. It took me until I lost up to four stone to think ‘Right, lets see what I can really do’ and have a bad day trusting myself that I would be back on the plan the next day.
“I needed to realise it’s OK to be human and have bad days and any weight I gained in that bad day I could lose plus more the following week.”
Katy said the whole experience of fat shaming and weight loss made her raise “little warriors” so her kids won’t be affected by people’s comments like she was.
She said: “To anybody going through something similar all I can say is hold your head high.”
Katy says she is now a much happier person: “Now I can run around with my children, I even take them swimming! I feel ‘normal’. No worrying about being judged – and, you know what, if people want to look let them. Because in reality all they will see are three children, happy and having fun with their mum, and I have a lot of making up to do to them in this respect. No more hiding away” here.