I was so fat I broke our bed - but the nightmare gave me my dream body. By Lisa Patel, 35, Leicester

As I tidied away the last of the glasses in the pub, my mind was already on what I was going to have for dinner that evening.

After working a long shift as a barmaid in my mum’s pub, cooking was always the last thing on my mind.

‘I’ll just grab something from the kebab house down the road,’ I thought to myself, digging around in my pocket for some change.

I planned to just pick up some fries, but I was starving and I wanted everything on the menu. Eventually I ordered a large doner kebab with all the trimmings, and a large portion of chips on the side.

I couldn't wait to get home and eat it, but after I was finished I felt a familiar wave of guilt and disgust. Looking in the mirror, I sighed. There was no doubt about it - I was fat. And it was all my fault.

Weighing in at a staggering 26st 3lbs, I was massive. I crammed my curves into a size 32 and I was so fat that just walking a few metres down the street would leave me gasping for breath. Clothes shopping was a painful activity that I avoided like the plague.

One of the worst things about being that size was how hurtful strangers could be. People pointed at me in the street and laughed openly about my size. It didn’t seem to matter to them that I was a person too, and that I had feelings.

People didn’t hesitate to roll their eyes when I tried to wedge myself next to them on the bus, and they always sniggered when I waddled down the supermarket aisles whilst doing my food shopping.

I painted on a smile for the sake of my friends and family, but inside I was crippled by insecurity.

When I met my husband Umar, 40, in a local pub, I couldn’t believe my luck. He was gorgeous, warm, and very funny. He also took a genuine interest in me, and my hulking frame didn’t seem to bother him in the slightest.

‘I love you because you have a very good heart,’ he would tell me. He always had a way of making me feel like the most special woman on the planet.

We married in an Islamic ceremony in October 2009 and in September 2011 I gave birth to our son Jayden, now five.

My doctor said the very fact that I’d managed to get pregnant was a miracle in itself.

‘Someone as big as you shouldn’t be pregnant,’ he said bluntly.

I just smiled in return. I was used to hearing I was fat - it wasn’t new to me. I was just thrilled to be having a baby.

When Jayden came along it changed our world completely. He was such a bundle of joy, and I felt content with my little family.

In February 2013, we went on a family holiday to Zanzibar. I couldn’t wait to spend some quality time with my husband and son, but my size made everything different from the start.

I had to ask for a seat belt extension on the flight over, and I developed bruises from having to wedge myself hard into the seat. The armrests were stuck into my sides for the whole flight and I was too scared to use the loo in case I couldn’t fit back into my seat again.

The island itself was breathtaking - with clear blue waters and beautiful white sand, but instead of enjoying the beauty, I struggled to cope in the blazing heat.

I sweated profusely and my stomach knotted with shame when I attempted to wear a swimming costume. I just tried to focus on enjoying myself with my family.

Then one night, I sat down on the bed when I heard an almighty creak.

‘What’s that?’ Umar said as he rushed into the bedroom. I soon got my answer. Just then, the base of the bed snapped, sending me crashing to the ground.

I looked up at Umar in horror. I was so fat, I’d broken the bed.

Mortified, I pulled myself up off the floor. Umar rang reception and lied, claiming that we’d been having sex when the bed broke.

As embarrassing as it was, it was better than admitting that I’d broken the bed with my sheer size.

The staff were very nice about it, but I could tell they didn’t believe us and my cheeks burned crimson with shame when they came to fix it.

‘It doesn’t matter my love,’ Umar said as we climbed back under the sheets. ‘You have to see the funny side.’

But his words did nothing to brighten my mood and I spent the rest of the holiday feeling sheepish and upset.

When I landed on UK soil, I vowed to change my ways. My breaking bed moment had convinced me I needed to lose weight and shape up once and for all.

I tried several diets before joining Slimming World with a friend in September 2014, and since then I haven’t looked back.

No diet had ever worked for me before, but this time, something felt different. It wasn’t just about how I looked anymore - it was about how I felt, and I was clearly in no fit shape if I was breaking king-sized beds by simply sitting on them.

I was so nervous at first, and I convinced myself I’d be the fattest person there. But everyone was so friendly and I left my first meeting feeling like I had just made a big group of new friends.

When I got home, I carefully wrote down my goals and planned out my meals for the week. It felt good to be in control. For the first time in my life, I felt positive about the future - I had a real opportunity to make a change to my lifestyle for good.

I didn’t really know how to cook at first, but I knew I had to I swap the greasy kebabs for healthy, home cooked meals, so I started to re-educate myself about what was good for me.

I learnt a few Slimming World recipes and taught myself how to cook my favourite meals from scratch, and as the weight fell off my confidence soared and I started to feel more in control.

Whenever my willpower faltered I only had to think back to the way I’d crashed through the base of that bed and it spurred me on.

When I lost more than a stone in my very first month, I was thrilled. As I nervously watched the needle hovering on the scales, I almost hugged my consultant in excitement!

Now, I’ve lost 11st 7lbs and shrunk a staggering nine dress sizes to fit into a size 14. I still want to lose another stone or two, but my confidence has rocketed and I love the new me. Instead of pointing and laughing, people now do a double take when they see me.

Umar often jokes that he has a completely different wife now, and I have to agree - I feel like a totally different person.

Breaking the bed on our holiday of a lifetime was a nightmare - but I’m actually glad it happened. It gave me my dream body!

Lisa was mortified when her 26 stone bulk broke her bed but the bedtime nightmare spurred her on to shape up and lose 11st to achieve her dream body. The team at Sell My Story helped Lisa share her slimming success with a weekly women's magazine and earn a top fee so if you're interested to know how it works, give us a call.


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