NAOMI ARMITAGE scoffed kebabs, crisps and peanut butter non-stop – until a single ice cream finally made her change her life.
Then a teenager, Naomi had been enjoying a day out with friends when she ordered the chocolate cone and posed for a snap on the seafront.
Stewart Williams – The Sun Naomi Armitage shed eight stone after realising she had a weight problem
But when a pal posted the photo on Facebook later that day, she saw just how big she really was — weighing in at 17st and wearing a size 22.
Naomi, now 24, says: “I burst into tears when I saw the picture. The girl in the photo looked nothing like how I imagined myself.
“I looked in the mirror to do my make-up in the morning but never looked in full-length ones that showed my whole body. That photo gave me what I needed to change.”
So, aged 19, Naomi vowed to cut out snacks, say no to takeaways and cook healthy meals at home. She now weighs 9st 4lb and wears size-eight clothes after shedding eight stone.
When Naomi saw this snap of her she knew she had to take control of her weight
The art firm owner from Blackpool says: “I was committed in a way I’d never been before. I looked up healthy recipes and started cooking from scratch.
“I also plucked up the courage to start working out a few times a week.
“The weight fell off me and now I’m finally in a body I can be proud of.”
Naomi had always suffered with her weight.
Stewart Williams – The Sun The 24-year-old said she burst into tears in a dressing room when she struggled to fit into clothes
She says: “As I kid, I had a big appetite but it got worse at secondary school. I used my dinner money to buy kebabs and chips.”
On top of that, Naomi ate four slices of toast with peanut butter for breakfast, plus crisps and chocolate bars before getting home for a heavy dinner such as stew. She also snacked in secret.
Naomi says: “I would creep downstairs when my parents were in bed and make myself a peanut butter sandwich.
“I’d also spend any spare cash I had on chocolate on the way home.”
Naomi stopped getting takeaways and eating snacks, and cooked healthy meals at home
By 16, Naomi weighed 14st and was a size 18.
She says: “Friends started going on holidays and I was invited but turned down every invitation.
The thought of going somewhere hot and squeezing into shorts, strappy tops and swimwear filled me with dread.”
Over the next three years, Naomi piled on weight, turning to food to compensate for her low self-esteem.
Stewart Williams – The Sun Naomi said it wasn’t easy acknowledging she had a weight problem but she is so glad she did
She says: “I went on dates but never let things go too far because I was scared of stripping off in the bedroom. I just pushed it all to the back of my mind.”
But then came that fateful day on Blackpool seafront with the chocolate ice cream.
Naomi says: “That was a normal snack for me. I don’t even remember posing for the picture but when I saw it on Facebook, I was horrified.
“I didn’t recognise myself. I felt sick and didn’t know what to do.”
Stewart Williams – The Sun Losing weight gave her confidence and she finally started to believe in herself
The next day, Naomi broke down in tears during a shopping trip with her mum Denise, 45.
She says: “We were in the changing rooms and I was trying to find clothes that fitted me but just sat on the floor and cried.
“That afternoon, I made myself stare at the rolls of fat on my body and acknowledged that this time, I really had to change.”
“It was hard but I was determined. I decided my secret snacking days were behind me.”
Stewart Williams – The Sun Naomi says she is finally in a body she can be proud of
Naomi’s healthy new regime saw her drop three stone in a year and get back in Size 16 clothes.
Growing in confidence, she began going to yoga and pilates classes — then running when not in the gym.
Naomi says: “It was incredible. The more weight I lost, the more energy I had. I wasn’t going to stop.”
In April 2016, Naomi hit her current weight of 9st 4lb.
Since shedding the weight, Naomi has found love with a long-time friend, soldier Jack Dyson, 28.
DIET: Before v After
- Breakfast: Four slices of toast with peanut butter
- Lunch: Two white-bread sandwiches plus cheese and biscuits
- Dinner: Large doner kebab and chips
- Snacks: Two packets of crisps, three chocolate bars
- Breakfast: Porridge and fruit
- Lunch: Chicken salad
- Dinner: Home-cooked cottage pie
- Snacks: Banana, herbal tea