A super-slimming mum has dropped five dress sizes to prevent her kids being bullied.
Donna Carroll, 28, has lost a staggering five stone, shrinking from 15st 1lb and a size 20 to a svelte 10st 1lb within a year, now fitting into size 10 clothes.
A desire to be able to make more of her time with her children spurred on Donna, who works at npower in Peterlee, to lose the mammoth amount of weight.
She also did not want her son, James Johnson, an 11-year-old Dene Community School student, and daughter Lucy Johnson, six, who attends Blackhall Colliery Primary School, to be bullied over their mum’s weight.
Now Donna, originally from Hartlepool and a former pupil at Brierton school, is a changed woman after swapping takeaways and pasta meals with lashings of cheese and garlic bread for healthier options.
She still has her favourite spaghetti bolognese and carbonara but has cut out the side orders of cheese and garlic bread and fills up on more lean mince or pasta.
Donna, from Tenth Street in Blackhall, said: “I’m much more confident and happier.”
She had struggled with her weight as a teenager and put on more than four stone when she had James.
Back then, Donna said she was so unhealthy, even walking and climbing stairs tired her out.
“I hated full-length mirrors and hated trying on clothes in shops,” she added.
“I wouldn’t play out with the kids as I hated how I looked and felt embarrassed for my children having an overweight mam.
“It was always my biggest fear that other children would pick on my kids for their mam being overweight.”
Every diet she tried failed miserably.
Until a leaflet for Slimming World landed on her doorstep.
She signed up and six months after joining, she lost two-and-a-half stone.
She started to have more energy to run around with her children.
Since losing weight she has also taken part in a triathlon and also enjoys running and cycling, as well as the gym and Zumba classes.
Donna added: “Life is now mine to live and I’m loving every minute of it.”
She has taken over the Blackhall Slimming World group at Blackhall Community Centre, with her first session tonight.