Mum and daughter helped each other to lose 11 stone between them

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Mum and daughter helped each other to lose 11 stone between them

A mum and daughter spurred each other on to lose a total of 11 stone between them.

The super slimmers whose combined weight once topped 30 stone encouraged each other to become more healthy.

A love of fizzy pop, takeaways and “all things beige” saw catering assistant Kelly Digweed, 39, of Winchester, Hampshire, piling on the pounds until, in 2018, she wore a size 22 and weighed 15st 7lb, with her student daughter, Chloe Digweed, 21, following closely behind at a 14st 10lb size 20.

But, when a panic attack later that year – triggered by ongoing problems with anxiety –  saw Kelly, who also has two sons, Reece, 17, and Sam, 15, rushed to hospital, convinced she was having a heart attack,  the scare made her vow to make the most of “whatever life she had left,” by slimming down for good.

When, in May 2019, Kelly, whose husband Christopher, 49, is a delivery driver, reached her target weight of 9st 4lb, meaning she could wear a size 10, her fabulous appearance and renewed lust for life inspired Chloe to follow in her footsteps.

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And, less than six months later, the University of Portsmouth drama student is also a size 10 and weighs just 9st 12lb.

Describing how the weight loss has brought them closer together, Kelly said: “We’ve spent every waking hour of lockdown together and we’ve not had a single argument. We barely watch TV at all – we’re just happy chatting and having a laugh.”

She continued: “We’re even sharing clothes, something that would never have happened before.

“Chloe will order a big online shop on Boohoo or Pretty Little Thing and be like, ‘Try this one mum – try that.’

“I think it’s because we’re both finally happy in ourselves.”

Throughout her childhood and early teens, Kelly was a comfortable size eight, but that all changed when she gave birth to Chloe in 1999.

“I’d always eaten quite healthily growing up,” she recalled. “But as soon as I was in charge of my own meals I was eating all the wrong food.

“I loved anything beige – frozen chips and breaded chicken –  and I would always treat myself to a takeaway.”

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She continued: “For a while, I managed to get away with it, but as soon as I fell pregnant that all changed.

“I found myself getting bigger and bigger. But, after Chloe arrived, I didn’t get any smaller.”

Following a similar pattern, by the time she had Samuel, in 2005, she was a size 18.

Just 5ft tall, at her heaviest, Kelly had a body mass index (BMI) – used to gauge a healthy weight – of 42.5 compared to the NHS recommended levels of between 18.9 and 24.5, classing her as obese.

She continued: “It happened which each of the children. Before I knew it I was too big to shop in New Look and had to go to Evans for plus size clothes.

“I don’t even know how it happened. It’s like I woke up one day and suddenly I had three children and was overweight.”

Juggling a full-time job with raising three young children, Kelly turned to eating easy, convenient food.

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Often skipping breakfast, she would enjoy a cheese sandwich with crisps and a chocolate bar for lunch, before tucking into XL cheese pizzas for dinner and gorging on chocolate digestives for snacks.

“I was in a vicious circle,” she explained. “I was depressed about how I looked and the only thing that would cheer me up was eating.”

She continued: “Then I’d put on even more weight and I’d find myself trapped in this cycle.”

In 2006, after the breakdown of a relationship, Kelly started comfort eating even more, as well as crying on the shoulder of her friend, Christopher – with whom she soon found romance.

Becoming an item that Christmas, Kelly said: “It was a friendship that eventually turned to romance.”

She continued: “We never saw it coming. It was a whirlwind.”

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A size 18 when they fell in love, Kelly convinced herself there were more important things to worry about than her weight.

And, on June 20, 2009, she tied the knot in a size 22 dress, at a local register office – calling it one of the best days of her life.

“It was my wedding day, so of course it was a happy time,” she said. “I was marrying the man of my dreams.

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“I wish I looked like I do now in the photos but, sadly, I can’t take my body back in time and swap it.”

Remaining 18 stone for the best part of 10 years, it was not until mid-2018 that Kelly was given the final push she needed to lose the weight once and for all.

“One day I was I getting ready for bed and my heart started racing and my blood pressure went through the roof. I thought my heart would stop,” she recalled.

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“I was convinced I was dying and the next thing I knew I was coming to on the floor after passing out.

“Christopher was so worried he called an ambulance.”

Given an ECG and blood tests at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Kelly was told she was not experiencing a heart attack, but instead a panic attack.

She continued: “I’ve suffered with anxiety and panic in the past, especially away from home, but I’d never ended up in hospital with it.

“That’s when something clicked and I knew I had to change. I knew that every bite I was taking was bringing me one step closer to an early grave.”

She continued: “It took thinking I was dying to make me realise I want as long and happy a life as possible.”

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So, after hearing about the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan through a friend, in November 2018 Kelly signed up – halving her calorie intake to just 1,500 a day.

And, in only five weeks, she lost a stone.

“There was no stopping me after that,” she added. “I had my eyes set on the main prize.”

Starting the day with Weetabix, before enjoying a tuna salad for lunch and finishing her day with grilled chicken and steamed veg, true to her word, Kelly reached her target weight by the end of May, 2019.

A trim 9st 4lb size 10, her weight loss came just in time for a night out with hubby Christopher, celebrating their 10-year wedding anniversary, to see American singer Pink perform at Wembley Stadium, in west London.

Kelly said: “For months and months people were saying how great I looked and I didn’t believe them.

“I was so excited at seeing Pink, I even bought two size small T-shirts – something I haven’t done in over two decades!”

But, as her waistline shrank, Kelly could not help noticing that Chloe’s was expanding.

“Every time we’d visit Chloe she would praise me for my weight loss, but I could tell inside she was longing for the same result herself,” she said.

“I was getting smaller as she got larger and it can’t have been easy.

“I didn’t want to push her to start dieting, as I think it’s something that needs to come from yourself.”

She continued: “I did have to bite my tongue a few times, but in the end I didn’t say anything.”

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By Christmas last year, Chloe – who, standing at 5ft 2in, had a BMI of 37.8, so was also obese – had made her own mind up to slim down.

So, like her mum, she signed up with a 1:1 Diet consultant.

And as she began her weight loss journey, Kelly started training to become a 1:1 Diet consultant and, at the end of January, she took over as her daughter’s mentor.

“It was great to have Chloe as my first client,” Kelly said. “It was interesting seeing the experience from both sides.

“Although, drawing the line between mummy mode and consultant mode has been hard sometimes.”

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She continued: “Chloe had a few big weeks of losing five or six pounds, then one week she lost one and it hit her really hard.

“The mum in me wanted to let her wallow and sulk for a few days, but I had to put my consultant head on and tell her to pull her socks up and keep going.”

With her mum’s help, Chloe has lost five stone in six months.

Describing how the process has brought them closer together, Kelly and Chloe say it has been the perfect recipe to make them best pals, as well as mother and daughter.

“Before the weight loss, neither of us liked spending much time together,” Kelly said.

“Chloe was a typical, lazy teen growing up and we never properly enjoyed doing things just the two of us.”

She continued: “Now we’re the best of friends and I can 100 per cent say that’s down to our weight loss.”

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Now a trim size 10, Chloe is just 2lb away from her target weight of 9st 10lb.

She said: “Seeing my mum’s transformation was the kick up the bum I needed to take control of my own weight. If she could do it, why couldn’t I?”

She concluded: “It’s only taken six months for me to catch up and I couldn’t be happier.

“I’ve lost five stone, but best of all, I’ve gained a best mate in my mum.”

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