A morbidly obese woman lost 14 stone after having to wear men’s hiking boots – because nothing else would fit her chubby feet.
Symone Zimmermann, 26, switched fatty snacks for fruit and veg and her feet shrank from a size eight-and-a-half men’s to a size six women’s.
Before losing the weight, the 5ft7 sales advisor had dreamed of wearing dainty pumps and glam heels and for work, was asked to wear black shoes.
But her 26-stone, size 32 frame meant she couldn’t squeeze into trainers, let alone fashionable women’s footwear.
Instead, from the age of 16, by which time she was already a size 24, she had to wear wide fit, men’s hiking boots in a size eight and a half.
She also had to shop in plus size stores and her staple wardrobe consisted of baggy black trousers and long t-shirts.
But after dieting for two years, she’s shed an astonishing 14 stone 10lbs and is delighted with her slender size 12 frame.
Symone – who now weighs a healthy 11 stone 4lbs – is over the moon with her new, slim feet because she can finally wear women’s shoes again.
Symone, of Margate, Kent, said: “My feet looked like someone had taken a bike pump and stuck it in my foot and inflated it. It was horrible.
“I wanted to wear nice clothes and shoes, but I would normally have to wear things like men’s mountain boots.
“I had really bad water retention in my feet and they were so swollen, so I couldn’t get into normal women’s shoes.
“I did try to squeeze into shoes but my feet were so wide, they just wouldn’t fit.
“I couldn’t even wear trainers because of where the tongue was.
“I really didn’t like it. I felt depressed because I was going out and I ended up having to wear baggy black trousers that would cover my shoes.
“I didn’t feel comfortable at all.”
The misery of seeing pals don pretty outfits and the embarrassment of being unable to wear what she wanted left Symone down in the dumps.
But she continued to gorge on McDonald’s breakfasts, blocks of cheese and bars of chocolate while spending 10 hours a day in front of the TV.
Her huge size meant she had to use seatbelt extensions, struggled to walk and had to take showers because she couldn’t fit in the bath.
But it was only when she had a miscarriage in summer 2013 – most likely because of her weight – that she decided to change something.
Rolls of fat on her tummy meant she hadn’t even realised she was pregnant in the first place.
Combined with her desperation to look beautiful and get back to full health, the guilt and grief pushed Symone to join Slimming World in May 2014.
Since then, she’s shed 14 stone, grown two inches and her feet – which were swollen before due to water retention as a result of her weight – have shrunk to a size six.
Now, Symone can wear fashionable women’s shoes and says she feels a million times better.
She said: “I’ve got some black boots that I wear on a daily basis, quite a few pairs of trainers and some heels.
“I love it. It’s amazing that I can wear those things now – I definitely look nicer.
“Before it was embarrassing, but people are always saying that I look really nice now and it’s very flattering.
“On a night out before, I’d have to wear really big black trousers, a top and men’s shoes.
“Now I can wear a dress and some nice shoes.
“I just feel far more confident and happy. I love it.”