A heartbroken mum lost six-and-a-half stone after doctors said her weight could have contributed to her unborn baby’s death.
Charlotte Doughty, 43, rapidly began to spiral downhill after she began “self-loathing” when she discovered her 24-size figure could have triggered the tragic outcome.
During the pregnancy Charlotte was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in early 2015 and doctors said her weight was seriously impacting my health
Tragically Charlotte’s unborn baby was later diagnosed with Edward’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder, and sadly passed away in the womb at 37 weeks.
Due to Charlotte’s family history of diabetes, her later age and obesity, she was at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Grief-stricken, Charlotte, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, became locked in a vicious circle of eating and drinking to help numb some of the pain she was feeling.
The Head of Year teacher said: “I fell pregnant later on in life when I was 37-38 and I was massively overweight probably around 15-16 stone at that point.
“I was told by health professionals that my weight along with my age may have played a factor in my baby’s condition.
“Due to my grief and self-loathing that I may have caused my baby’s condition, my eating escalated further and despite the warnings from my GP, I continued to eat fast food and drink pints of lager.
“I blamed myself, at the time I did think what if I hadn’t been as big as I was, would things have been different?
“When that happened I just swung completely the other way. I started eating more and drinking more to get through the pain.
“It became a vicious circle of feeling depressed about my weight by turning to food and alcohol. Being overweight seriously began to impact on so many aspects of my life. I always felt like I was lacking energy and motivation.
“I wanted more children but doctors said I was at a higher risk and my ex-husband at that point just said we can’t go through that again.
“Going through something like that does put everything into perspective. I just thought I need to get myself together, for her if nothing else.
“Turning 40 I think also makes you evaluate your life and your health. There was quite a lot of body positivity for bigger women and that made me think it didn’t matter how big I was.”
At 17-stone the mum was told she needed to make a change and fast.
Her weight was taking a toll on her physically as she struggled to walk for long distances and began feeling aches and pains in her body.
She said: “It was affecting my physical and mental health. Physically I had problems with my hips and had aches and pains.
“Back then, I never cooked, I worked full time and I just used to eat takeaway food and it became a bit of a running joke that ‘Charlotte couldn’t cook.’
“I was drinking really heavily, I would have a bottle of wine at night and then at the weekend I would drink eight pints in the evening.
“Then I joined Slimming World in 2017 and haven’t looked back since! I’m still not a great cook but it’s just simple food- you don’t need to be the best cook in the world.
“I then started walking which gradually turned into running.
“My partner was a godsend. If I was crying and telling him I couldn’t do it, he would pick me up and tell me I can.”
Charlotte followed Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and started cooking healthy meals from scratch.
In less than two years, she has already lost six-and-a-half stone and has dropped from dress size 24 to a size 12.
“People think slimming means going hungry, yet it’s not like that at all with this healthy eating plan. I love food and I never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’.
“In fact, people are always surprised at how much food I have on my plate and can’t believe I’m losing weight eating so much delicious food and without ever feeling hungry.”
“I really am a completely different person, I look back at old photos of myself and I don’t recognise her.
“I honestly feel ten years younger. For a long while I couldn’t get my head around how much I had lost. Probably six months back I would still look at myself and feel like I was really big.
“The past six months I have really changed. Before I was hiding away from photos but now I don’t mind them.
“My self-esteem is massively different and it’s really helped my confidence.
“Slimming World has literally saved my life as I was only heading one way. I want to go on to inspire and support others to do the same, I’ve got my life back and I couldn’t be happier.”
Since her dramatic weight loss, Charlotte’s health was improved dramatically and she has reduced her risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Charlotte will also take over as consultant at Slimming World’s group which meets at Providence House, Providence Street, Lynn, group on November 23.
The sessions run every Saturday morning at 8.30am and 10.30am. For further information please contact Charlotte on 07840 769842.