A woman made it her mission to lose weight after being fat-shamed by a flight attendant.
Zoe Foster “wanted to disappear” when an air hostess “walked down the aisle swinging a bright orange belt extension bellowing: ‘Who’s the lady who needs this?’.”
The 63-year-old was on her way back from Spain and says the uncomfortable moment tarnished her memory of the holiday.
She told GrimsbyLive: “I wanted the floor to open up so I could disappear.
“I made my mind up there and then – I would never let this happen to me again.”
Size 26 Zoe, from Scunthorpe, decided to join Slimming World two days later – and dropped dress sizes within weeks.
Zoe’s hard work came to a halt when she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune and inflammatory disease.
She said: “I became almost bed bound. I couldn’t drive or go to work.”
The slimmer started to make improvement thanks to her medication – until she was struck with another life-threatening emergency.
She explained: “I had a spontaneous ruptured spleen. I had surgery to remove my spleen and was in ICU for several days and in hospital for a month.
“After three months rehabilitating, I came through and was so happy to be alive, thanks to our wonderful NHS.”
Zoe admits she piled the 3st 5lbs she had just lost by “eating her way through recovery”.
She had been “munching through mountains of toast with butter”, chips, cakes and takeaways.
Zoe continued: “I was so depressed and upset with myself but I would put a brave face on and go out with friends, where I consumed large amounts of alcohol.
“This would release my inhibitions so I appeared the life of the party – but deep down I was sad.
“After drinking it was usually followed by a kebab or something like.
“My friends supported me and loved me for who I was but I really didn’t like myself very much.”
Zoe wanted to change her body and mindset so rejoined Slimming World.
She said: “I got new motivation and suddenly I was in the right head space. I started to lose weight again.
“Sometimes it wasn’t easy. I had holidays and celebrations and would put on a few pounds.
“But the difference was, I was always straight back on it determined to be the best version of myself I could be.”
The slimmer overhauled her diet and began eating Slimming World meals and cutting back on calorific goods like chocolate and alcohol.
Zoe has been shielding throughout the Covid-19 pandemic due to her health conditions and says she has been very lonely.
She’s not letting this get in the way of her weight loss journey though.
The super-slimmer added: Home alone I felt so isolated but after a couple of days feeling sorry for myself I pulled up my big girl pants and decided this wasn’t going to stop me attaining my goal.
“At this point, I struggled to walk 5,000 steps a day. I started to walk around my garden and got an exercise cycle.
“I gradually built up my body magic (exercise) and now do about 12,000 steps a day. On average 60 to 70 minutes exercise a day by walking, exercise cycle and online exercise classes.”
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Zoe says “variety” has been her key to dropping from a size 26 to her current size 16 to 18.
She added: “I have attained the target weight I set and got my eight stone award.
“The benefits to my health are great. I was in the waiting list for knee replacements but no longer need this done at present.
“I rarely have Rheumatoid and my blood pressure is normal for the first time in years.
“It hasn’t always been easy but I have got to say it’s been worth it and now feel I am living the best life I can even in today’s difficult climate.”