How a young mother who was 'too fat to walk' shed 45kg in one year

By admin
21 January 2016

An obese Scottish mother who was barely able to walk due to her size has proven how effective the power of social media is in battling the bulge.

In just a year, Ashleigh Munn (24), a childcare student from Port Glasgow in Scotland, lost a staggering 45kg by simply changing her diet and adopting a regular exercise regime. She then documented her transformation on social media photo-sharing site, Instagram. And the results have been unbelievable!

In 2013, Ashleigh -- who was always overweight -- used her pregnancy as an excuse to gorge on unhealthy junk food which caused her weight to balloon even further. Her weight-gain was so staggering that by the time she gave birth to daughter Mya in January 2014, her 101kg weight made it impossible to walk.
Ashleigh developed a condition known as symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) caused by the pressure from her weight, and was forced to rely on crutches to support her hips and pelvis. In November 2014, doctors discovered a melon-sized cyst on her left ovary, forcing the new mom to undergo surgery where her ovary and fallopian tube were removed.

Doctors suggested that her weight and unhealthy lifestyle may have been responsible for the cyst. Ashleigh describes the experience as “terrifying” but it was just the motivation she needed to change her life for the better. “I was only 23 and had to have an operation to remove my ovary. I felt I was too young to experience this. "I was not happy with myself. After my operation I thought: "I'm not doing this anymore..."

“I would see mums at playgroups running about, but I was too embarrassed and aware of my size, and I’d get out of breath quickly.” She now has all the energy and confidence to run about and play with her daughter Mya (2), whom she wants to grow up with healthy habits. “I don’t want my little girl to grow up with her mom not running around, and eating rubbish. I wanted to be the best role model.” As part of her new healthy living goals, Ashleigh gave up meat and became a vegetarian. She started following fitness gurus and “colourful” vegetarian accounts on Instagram, and felt inspired by the healthy cooking videos and recipes she found online.

“I became obsessed with commenting on people’s amazing meals, asking how they made them and trying all sorts out, and decided to make Instagram my food diary,” she said.

Part of her weight-loss journey involved posting everything she ate online for four months. This, she says, was a way of avoiding “bad’ foods, and also sharing her progress with her followers. Posting pictures of her ever-shrinking figure at various stages of her weight-loss also helped to boost Ashleigh’s confidence. “People would write really supportive comments.” She’s now learnt how to cook healthy meals for herself and her partner David Barclay (25) – who also lost 19kg in one year – and she does regular yoga, goes to the gym, and goes walking with Mya in a bid to maintain her fitness regime.

"Mya's dad David and I can't tell her to live a healthy lifestyle if we're not.” Today, Ashleigh has lost almost 50kg, tipping the scales at a mere 65kg. The family have replaced beef in their diets with a meat substitute know as quorn, and make every meal from scratch. On her former unhealthy lifestyle, Ashleigh said, "David and I would stuff ourselves with pre-packaged meals and fry-ups and Iceland [frozen food retailer] was my 'go-to' shop.

"I'd buy toad-in-the-holes, frozen curries, chips, onion rings, sausage rolls, and pies - nothing good for you. There was never a vegetable in my diet, and the only thing I could cook was pasta.”

She’s glad that she will be setting a good example for her daughter now, and never wants to look like her old self again – and says her partner won't allow her to, either.

“I couldn't have done this without David's support. We're so much stronger and fitter now.”

-- Latashia Naidoo


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