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Local News

Teacher vows not to be fat at 40 and slims down to size she was at 18


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A 40 year old teacher has turned back time by ditching two-and-a-half stone to weigh the same as she did when she was just 18 years old.

Distraught when she saw a photo of herself at a pal’s party in February 2020, bursting out of her size 16 dress, Emma McKenzie vowed she would not be fat at 40 – and shed the pounds before her landmark birthday in August.

Throwing out her junk food and signing up to a weight loss plan, the health and social care tutor, of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, whose partner Richard McKenzie, 43, is an accountant, said: “I’ve lost 38lb and now weigh 9st 7lb – the same as I did when I was 18.”

A serial dieter, 5ft 3in Emma weighed 12st 4lb at the time of her photo shame – giving her a body mass index (BMI) used to gauge a healthy weight, of 30.4 – compared to the NHS recommended range of 18.5 to 24.9 – meaning she was obese.

“My weight had been creeping up over the years,” she said.

“By the time I got to 12st 4lb, I was the biggest I had ever been.

“I ate a lot of carbohydrates, I loved pasta and would always have a big sandwich for lunch with crisps and a can of pop.”

Emma McKenzie at 18 years old
Emma McKenzie at 18 years old
(Image: PA Real Life)

She added: “I really gained the weight by never starting a diet. I would binge eat up until the Sunday evening, intending to start a diet on Monday, but I never did.

“I repeated this cycle week after week, with endless promises to myself to start losing weight the next Monday. In reality, the diet never happened and subsequently the weight piled on.”

But, after attending a friend’s birthday party in February 2020, Emma reached an all-time low when a photo showed her curves looking more like rolls, spilling out of her green dress.

“I’d had everything done for the party, from my nails to my hair, but I still felt bloated and rubbish,” she said.

“Then, when I saw that photo, I decided I had to change. I just thought enough is enough.”

Feeling empowered to start her diet straight away, she signed up to the Exante plan that Sunday evening – chucking all her junk food in the bin.”

Emma feels fantastic after her two stone weight loss
Emma feels fantastic after her two stone weight loss
(Image: PA Real Life)

She added: “I vowed to ditch the pounds by the time I was 40, in August 2020,” she said.

“I had friends who’d used other diets, but they had gained the weight back after a few months.

“I just needed something to break my eating habits, so I signed up that Sunday and started the diet straight away.”

She added: “I joined the 800 plan, eating 800 calories a day and only drinking water after 6pm. ”

Determined not to be fat at 40, by May 2020 she had lost a massive two stone.

“The first four days were hard, especially fasting after 6pm, as that’s when I’d usually have some chocolate, or a glass of wine. But, after the first few days, I barely noticed it,” she said.

She added: “Everyone was amazed and by May my friends were all asking me for tips on how to lose the weight. I felt amazing, especially getting back into old clothes.”

In just six months Emma had lost a massive 2at 7lb, turning 40 with the same size 10 figure she had at 18.

Emma wowed her friends on her 40th birthday two stone lighter
Emma wowed her friends on her 40th birthday two stone lighter
(Image: PA Real Life)

“Being slim when I went into my fourth decade was a goal I set, as I was going to Italy and did not want to feel self-conscious,” she said.

“On my birthday, I wore the same green dress that made me lose weight. I felt amazing. I was so happy.”

And Emma has said goodbye to yo-yo dieting, instead maintaining her 9st 7lb size 10 frame through diet and exercise and has a healthy BMI of 23.5.

“At first, everyone said, You’ll never keep the weight off,’ but 10 months on, I’m still the same size,” she said

“It was amazing when I turned 40 just to be able to sunbathe and not feel self-conscious about the way I looked.”

She added: “My eating habits have changed and I am happy and healthy. Trying on my old frocks again feels like having a new wardrobe.

“I can’t believe I am the same weight I was when I was 18. I am so happy I did this for myself.”

Written by: Rother Radio News

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