A MUM-OF-THREE who shed a staggering seven stone in a year is celebrating by going swimming with her kids for the first time.
At her heaviest, Kelly Rothery, 32, weighed 19st 3lb and avoided going out because she was so self-conscious.
It was only when the mum, from Leeds, discovered that she weighed five stone more than her husband Charlie that she decided to take action.
The billing administrator for a telecoms firm said: “It was two years ago and Charlie suggested we should both hop on the scales, but I wouldn’t weight myself in front of him, so I waited until he left the room and then did it.
“I was so disgusted to see I weighed more than my husband that I knew I had to lose the weight.”
Kelly has struggled with her weight ever since she was a little kid, suffering fat-shaming jibes from other children.
“The other kids would call me ‘fatty’ and ‘marshmallow’ and it got so bad, I didn’t want to go to school at all,” she said.
“I became more and more isolated, as I lost all my confidence and I would do anything not to take my clothes off. I hated gymnastics and always got my mum to write me a note so I wouldn’t have to go swimming.”
“My mum would take me to the doctor because I was the only one with a weight problem and she was just so shocked,” Kelly continued.
“I had blood tests, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. The doctor said it was puppy fat and would just fall off, but it didn’t.”
And that weight continued to pile on after she met a previous partner at 17, with whom she started a family.
“The weight just kept creeping on,” said Kelly.
"I think when you’re a mum you struggle even more, because you have treats in the house for the kids and hoover up after them.”
She added: “It’s a vicious cycle because you feel disgusted with yourself, lose your confidence, hide away, become more and more isolated and then comfort eat to make yourself feel better.”
And when she began dating current husband Charlie, she started eating out and sharing boxes of chocolates - which didn't help the situation.
After Charlie suggested the weigh-in, Kelly decided to make an appointment at The Courthouse Clinic in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
There, consultants put Kelly on a new medically supervised weight loss and lifestyle programme called MediWeight, tailored to the individual, which starts by replacing normal meals with high protein sachet meal substitutes.
“It did feel daunting at the start, but they give you all your meal substitutes, so all you have to do is stick to them and not cheat,” said Kelly, who took home five sweet and savoury sachet meals, including chilli, omelette and pizza, and was given a target intake of 800 calories a day.
“It is the easiest diet I have ever done, because you’re not trying to work out what you can or can’t eat yourself,” she said. “Seeing the weight drop off so quickly – I lost 10lb in the first week – and not go back on, was what kept me going.”
Now a size 14 and weighing just over 12st, Kelly's had to replace her whole wardrobe because her old size 22 clothes just hang off her.
“I couldn’t shop in trendy high street shops when I was fat. I would cry in the changing rooms, as it was so humiliating,” she said.
“But once I lost the weight I could, so I went to River Island last summer and bought two tops and a pretty dress.”
She's also taken her kids swimming for the first time on holiday in Tenerife - the first time that she'd worn a swimsuit in three years.
“On previous holidays I hid away in shirt dresses. Sometimes I even wore tights – anything that would disguise my body.
"But in Tenerife my kids loved me being in the water with them. We were swimming every day. It was lovely and so rewarding seeing them so happy.”
But Kelly's bespoke diet didn't come cheaply.
It cost her £250 a week, including weekly consultations, sachet meals and body contouring treatments to tighten any excess skin left behind by Kelly's dramatic weight loss.
But she says it was so worth it.
“The weight loss hasn’t just given me back my life, it has helped me to find myself,” she said.
“I’d say to anyone who, like me, has had a long-term struggle with their weight you can do it, don’t give up. Even if you start and lapse, just start again because when you succeed it really will change your life.”
“The other night I put on a really clingy dress to go out to dinner with my husband and my youngest girl told me that I looked like a princess! ‘Mummy you are so pretty,’ she said and this made me cry with happiness.
“I am really proud of what I have done and how I’ve got my life back.”