27-stone mother Sue Thompson wins slimming title after losing more than 16 stone

40-year-old was terrified of getting stuck in an aeroplane seat 

An overweight mother who refused to fly because she was scared of getting stuck in an aeroplane seat has won a slimming title after losing more than 16 stone.

Sue Thompson has slimmed down 10 dress sizes from being a 32 to a 12, and will jet off on holiday to Spain with her husband and daughter later this month.

The 40-year-old from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, has been named Slimming World Consultant Slimmer of the Year 2013 after reducing her weight from over 27st to 11st 5lb in a little over three years.

Sue, married to 44-year-old Shaun, had been overweight since school but after having her daughter Jessica-Ray, 15, she began to worry about her size.

She said: "I knew I wasn't one of the skinny girls at school but it never affected me when it came to friends or boyfriends and I wasn't bullied or anything like that.

"As I got older I started to gain more weight but even embarrassing situations, like the time I cracked a sunbed at a tanning salon, didn't motivate me to lose weight.

"It changed when I had Jess, I hated the idea that I might be an embarrassment to her or Shaun.

"They never said anything and I know they loved me whatever my size but I always worried about how my weight impacted on them."

Sue, who used to work for the NHS, pretended to be afraid of flying but it was actually the dread of being wedged in a seat which put her off.

She avoided school plays and parents evenings, worrying other parents would judge her for being fat.

She also avoided socialising with her husband to avoid embarrassing him.

"I'd sort of accepted that being overweight was my fate," she said.

"I genuinely believed that my weight would be what killed me - which is scary looking back now because I was only 37.

"I used to go to bed at night and wonder if that might be the night I didn't wake up."

That changed in March 2010 when she joined Slimming World, though she kept it a secret from family and friends for weeks.

She swapped takeaways for home-cooked simple dishes and a family favourite is now baked salmon with a jacket potato and vegetables.

She now works as a consultant for Slimming World.

She said: "I always say I'm not on a diet, I just eat healthily now.

"I've got a completely different relationship with food.

"It used to be a battle, but now I know how to eat healthily and that I can still have treats if I want them so there's nothing to fight any more.

"If I want a treat I have it, but I've found that a lot of the time you only want it because you think you can't or shouldn't have it."

She now goes walking, has been horse-riding, attends music festivals with her daughter and even had her eyes lasered so she could ditch her glasses.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions