A Staffordshire McDonald’s worker who tipped the scales at a whopping 17st has lost an incredible six stone.
Gabrielle Dennis, used to eat a McDonald’s meal at the end of every shift and visit the fast food giant on her days off, hiding the food wrappers in her bedroom.
She says she started to ‘eat her emotions’ after both her grandads died when she was a teenager.
But it wasn’t until she tipped the scales at more than 17 stone that she decided to do something about her weight – and now says she feels like a “new woman”.
The 24-year-old said: “I was slim during my school days and never had a problem with food, reports DerbsyhireLive.
“When I was 14 and 18, my granddad’s sadly passed away. This is when my weight began to pile on and I began to eat my emotions.
“I started my first job which was at McDonald’s and every shift I had access to a free large meal. I also had my own money and income which was new to me.
“Because I had my own money, this lead to me buying whatever food I fancied, whenever. Then, when I passed my driving test, it became even easier with going to the drive thru.
“Before I knew it, I was shopping in the plus-size section and I gauged on any food I could get my hands on.
“It got so bad my mum actually banned me eating food upstairs and she banned me eating sweets, chocolate and crisps.
“I used to hide the wrappers everywhere in my room. Shoved in my drawers, down my bed, in my pillow, everywhere. Of course my mum found them and enough was enough.”
Gabrielle said she tried many weight loss plans over the years but they never worked as her “heart wasn’t in it”.
Then when she met her boyfriend Samuel, she said she learned how to love herself and with a nudge from him and her mum she joined Weight Watchers in February last year.
Now the student has slimmed down from 17 stone 3.5 pounds to 11 stone and five pounds.
She said: “We can eat whatever we want as long as it’s within your points. Weight Watchers isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle.
“With being a student, people often assume I find it more difficult because of money and living in a house of people who eat all different kinds of food but what motivates me to plan my food at university is knowing I fit into smaller clothes now.
“I also batch cook which is super handy because I know I have something in the freezer when I am busy.
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“I have more energy, I can move more and I’m comfortable in my own skin.”
Gabrielle said her amazing weight loss has changed how she lives her life, day to day.
She said: “I used to want to spend all my time in bed but now I make the most of every day and I am thankful that I’m not as out of breath when I’m walking and that I can exercise without being embarrassed.
“I take every opportunity rather than making excuses because I wasn’t happy within myself.”
Although Gabrielle was first inspired to join the weight loss programme by a special event, she said her reason changed as time went on.
She said: “My original reason for joining Weight Watchers was because my best friend is getting married next year and I wanted to look and feel good in my dress.
“I was so motivated I even made sure she bought a smaller dress, even if she wasn’t happy about it.
“Over time, my reason changed to wanting to become a healthier and happier version of myself.
“Before, I was stuck in a vicious cycle of emotional eating. The weight crept on after the passing of both my granddads, and I was stuck saying ‘oh I will start next Monday’ but that Monday never came.
“I had tried Weight Watchers before but even though the plan always worked. I wasn’t in the right mentality to fully engage with my weight loss journey. I hated my body and my looks so I learned how to love and embrace my body with the help of my boyfriend.
“I believe that’s what’s different this time around. I love myself but I’m committed to being a healthier and happier version of me.”