A lardy mum was shamed into losing eight stone in just 12 months – after she overheard a hairdresser calling her “the fat girl” when she went for a job interview.
Jade Pearson, 24, ballooned to 21-and-a-half stone and was a size 28, after years of gorging on McDonald’s breakfasts, sausage rolls and burgers with chips.
But she decided to go on a diet after she applied for a job as a hairdressers in December 2014 and was shocked when she overheard a staff member referring to her as “the fat girl.”
Later that day she was also humiliated by her one-year-old daughter who pointed to her bulging stomach and said “big.”
Jade, who had previously not been allowed on rides at Alton Towers for being too fat, joined a local weight loss group and dropped nine dress sizes to a trim size 12.
Now Jade, who has landed a job with Boots and is studying at university, weighs a healthy 12 stone and feels “like a completely different person”.
Jade, from Bulwell, Notts., said: “I was so upset when I overheard a few hairdressers referring to me as the ‘fat girl’ after an interview.
“I wasn’t judged on my hair cutting or colouring skills; they wanted to know how long I could stand on my feet and how active I was.”
“I knew straight away I wasn’t going to get the job and it was yet another blow to my confidence.”
“But the truth was I’d only been able to wear comfy flats for years because my weight caused my ankles to swell.
“It was obvious I was overweight but there was no need for them to be so spiteful.
“Later that day my daughter also pointed at my stomach and said ‘big’. This was the final push I needed before I decided enough was enough.
“I remember before at Alton Towers I had queued for about an hour, but once I got to the front it became clear that the barrier wouldn’t fit over my stomach. I was so embarrassed.”
Jade joined a local branch of the Cambridge Weight Loss Plan in January 2015 and swapped chocolate bars and crisps for fruit and black tea.
At her heaviest, she would scoff down four large chocolate bars and a family size pack of crisps as in-between meal snacks.
Jade would start the day with a McDonald’s McMuffin before digging into sausage roles at lunch and burger and chips for tea.
But she’s traded the carb-heavy diet for a weight loss shake for breakfast, soup for lunch and chicken salad for dinner.
She said: “I was constantly eating or chewing on something, it was completely out of control, my addiction to food ruled my life.
“After my interview I found it difficult to find the confidence to look for other jobs, but I knew I had to change.
“I was full of self-hate and didn’t want to do anything with my girl. I even struggled to read her a book.”
“I couldn’t even take her to the park or swimming because I was so embarrassed.”
In a year, she has dropped from a size 28 to a size 12, and is now studying Performing Arts at Nottingham Trent University.
The 5ft 7ins tall mum said: “It was hard but I couldn’t keep piling on the pounds, at my heaviest I was 21-and-a-half-stone.
“I feel like a completely different person – this time last year I felt so low about everything but my life has taken a completely different direction.
“I now work part-time on the Estee Lauder counter in Boots and I’m at university while also being a full-time mum.”
Jade was awarded the title of Cambridge Weight Plan Slimmer of the Year and will jet off to Las Vegas next month as the prize.
Weight-loss consultant Jo Turner said: “Jade has been with me for exactly a year. I put her forward for the Slimmer of the Year award – she’s the first winner for the East Midlands.
“What’s so amazing is that her story has inspired a lot of young girls to lose weight.”
Jades diet before:
Breakfast: Beans on toast (4 pieces of bread) or McDonalds McMuffin
Lunch: Sausage rolls / steak bakes
Dinner: 12inch pizza / burger and chips
Snacks: Six cans of coke / tea with five sugars / four bars of chocolate / family size bag of crisps
Calories: Approximately 4,000.
Breakfast: Cambridge Weight Plan shake / fruit
Dinner: Chicken salad / Cambridge spaghetti bolognaise
Snacks: Diet coke / black tea no sugar / fruit / Cambridge Weight Plan snack bars
Calories: Approximately 1,000.