A size 26 teacher hit her 100-pound weight-loss target in lockdown after worrying that her size made her “shame” to her children.
Weighing 20 pounds and 10 pounds, Teresa Clark was overweight since her teens, but reached a turning point in May 2019 when she saw the impact a “ fat mom ” had on her 11- and 13-year-old children.
Now a size 16 and weighing 13.8 pounds, Teresa, from Colchester, Essex, whose husband, Paul, 45, runs a print shop, said, “I was overweight as a teenager and during my adult life I would go on a diet or try different plans, but in the end I always put on the pounds. ”
The 43-year-old continued, “Last year it got to the point where I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to embarrass my kids anymore. I want to be able to let them swim without being self-conscious or worrying about what people think of their mom find ‘.
“I realized that if I didn’t tackle my weight, I could cause myself health problems. I just got bigger and I didn’t want to.”
Teresa started the day with a large bowl of cereal and ate chocolate in between when she was stressed at work before ending the day with a quick and unhealthy meal, such as a cheese-laden pizza.
At just five feet tall, her body mass index (BMI) – used to measure healthy weight – was 56.9 compared to the NHS-recommended levels between 18.9 and 24.5, making her obese .
She explained, “My job was quite stressful, so I would reach for the chocolate very often. That would be my thing.
‘I wouldn’t cook particularly healthy meals in the evening, either. I didn’t think much about my diet and wasn’t particularly good at portion control. My supper was probably bigger than it should have been. ‘
She continued, “I’d have a big bowl of cereal for breakfast, then a sandwich, chips, and chocolate for lunch, and then something like chicken Kiev or pizza for dinner.
“For centuries, I’ve been putting off weight loss, choosing to cover my body when on vacation or swimming instead.
“People know me as a confident person. I always smile and I’ve been very lucky because no one has bullied me or commented on my weight, but now I realize my confidence was quite low. “
In May 2019, Teresa joined the slimming club WW and according to the points-based plan – lose more than half a stone in the first month.
“I started to feel a little better. My jeans felt looser and went to WW every week and were weighed, which motivated me to keep going, ”she said.
“My confidence grew when I started to shrink.”
She continued, “Now I’m going to make something healthy for breakfast, like an oat banana muffin. I take a salad for lunch and a healthy tea like Bolognese made with minced turkey. I don’t deprive myself and still have treats like chocolate as long as I stay within my points.
“After losing four stones in October, I started training. I didn’t want to go to the gym because I was still self-conscious around other people, but I had an exercise bike and would use it for half an hour.
“Then I bought an elliptical cross trainer and now I do 12 km every other day. I never did that before losing the weight. ‘
She continued, “It’s great that I can now go shopping online and see something I want to buy without worrying if they will be my size. I have so much more freedom. ‘
Her greatest supporters during her amazing transformation have been her children, according to Teresa.
“My kids supported me like that. They keep saying, “Go mama, you’re doing great,” she said.
She continued, “And the children at school were also very encouraging. They are a great group and have noticed a big difference so that was great. “
Encouraged by her WW coach Emilie and continuing to weigh on Facebook during her lockout, Teresa – who prefers not to mention her kids – was thrilled when she hit her goal of shedding 100 pounds in March.
She said, “I really never thought I could get this far in a year.”
She said, “My WW coach Emilie has also been great. She went through everything.
“During the lockdown, I even dropped 100 pounds, which I was so proud of.
“It’s a strange time and locking can really upset you. Trying to lose weight, juggling with the kids at home and also working is difficult. ”
She continued, “Many of us probably don’t exercise as much as we normally do, but if I can reach my weight loss target, I want other people to realize they can.
“I take it every day. If I stumble and have a bad day, I don’t worry about it. The next day I start with a clean slate and continue. I don’t worry about bad days and try not to be hard on myself.
“I’d rather be where I am now than where I was before.”
She added, “There has been such an improvement in my health that has been helped by using the crosstrainer and I feel much fitter.
“I am confident in how I look now and I am more inclined to try new styles.
“I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been.”