A 22st school dessert cook who was so embarrassed by her size 22 mourning outfit at her father’s December 2020 funeral that she shed 8st has replaced her black clothes with bright colours and dyed her blonde hair orange to celebrate.
Busy mum Kat Milner, 35, who says she was “like a little pudding and the round kid” even at school, was given a wake-up call when she could not find a suitable dress to fit to say goodbye to her dad Andrew, when he died, aged 71.
Hating what she saw in the mirror, Kat, who lives near Lowestoft, Suffolk, with her door and window fitter husband Ben, 34, and their daughters, Gabrielle, 14, Cagney, six and Margaux, two, said: “I was 22 stone and had struggled to find a black dress for my dad’s funeral.”
She added: “He had passed away suddenly. His funeral was the first time I had seen some of my family for a while and I just felt embarrassed by my size.”
But, while she was determined to address her weight, Kat says changing the habits of a lifetime was no picnic.
She said: “My dad was a chef and I was big throughout my childhood.”
Her weight was not helped by her recent pregnancy, after giving birth to Margaux on March 22 – Mother’s Day – in 2020.
She said: “I don’t know how much weight I’d put on during the pregnancy because I was already so big. Probably a stone, so when I went back to work, I was struggling to manage everything.
“Even walking up the stairs or taking my baby out in the buggy left me feeling breathless and balancing healthy eating with motherhood and work just felt impossible.”
But, realising she needed to reduce her waistline for the sake of her health and her family, she returned to a diet she had tried once before – the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan – where all your meals are supplied.
She said: “I’d tried everything over the years including the cabbage soup diet and the Special K diet, but when you are just eating the same mundane food every day, it’s just too hard to stick to for more than a few days.
“But I had done what was known then as The Cambridge Plan and I’d lost weight, so I knew I could do it again.”
Starting out at 22st in March 2021, at 5ft 8in, Kat’s body mass index (BMI) used to gauge a healthy weight was 46.6, compared to the NHS healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9, making her obese.
Eating nutritionally based products supplied by Cambridge, but taking no exercise because of the calorie deficit, she soon started seeing positive results.
Restricting her calorie intake to just 800 a day – far less than the 2,000 recommended for women to maintain their weight – she lost most of her excess in the first six months.
And, delighted, she threw out her wardrobe staples of black baggy T-shirts and stretchy leggings and marched into New Look to buy a pair of jeans.
Now a far healthier 14st size 14-16, with a BMI of 29.7, she said: “I am still on the plan and limiting my calorie intake now to under 2,000 a day.
“There’s no black left in my wardrobe now. My favourite colour is orange, so I chopped off my long, blonde hair when I’d lost 4st and dyed it orange, too.”
She added: “But the biggest change, thanks to my weight loss, has not been to my appearance, it’s been to my mental health. I just feel so happy now.
‘’I feel a million times better about myself and just want to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity life throws at me!
“I love being able to get outside, walk our English bulldog, go out with friends and also embrace being in my own company.”
She added: “I’ve gained everything by losing the weight and I realise now that I don’t have to fall back on food when I need to escape. Instead, I’ll treat myself to a pamper, because I know I’m worth it!”
Determined not just to keep her own weight under control, but also to help other people who are struggling, Kat has trained as a 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant, too.
She said: “I have my very own slimmers now and I love to see how, once they start to lose the weight, they get themselves back.”
She added: “The most important thing I tell them is that losing weight starts with one step and to focus on that step instead of thinking about the whole staircase.”
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