A MUM who lost an incredible seven stone says that her dramatic weight loss has helped to “cure” her asthma.
Gemma King, 31, had piled on the pounds after constantly eating greasy takeaways and high calorie frozen foods for lunch and dinner.
At her heaviest, the mum-of-one, from Haverhill, Suffolk, weighed 18st 7lbs and was struggling to fit into a size 22.
Despite trying every diet going, her growing weight was stopping Gemma from being able to play with her son and making her asthma worse.
But it was only after seeing an unflattering photo of herself on Facebook of her bulging out of a dress at the beach that Gemma, a healthcare assistant, decided enough was enough.
She told The Sun Online: “I was so disgusted with how big I’d got and I’d lost so much of myself at the time because I was living with depression, going through a bad breakup and had just lost my nan and godmother in a matter of months.
Although she didn’t join Slimming World this time, Gemma had been a member in the past and used their online material to fuel her weight loss.
She said: “I never had the motivation to lose weight but when I saw the picture of me on the beach I was absolutely horrified.
“I didn’t realise how much weight I’d put on. I always felt embarrassed being the fat mum and I couldn’t take it any longer.”
She cut out her takeaways and fatty frozen foods and swapped them for fresh fruit and veg.
I didn’t realise how much weight I’d put on. I always felt embarrassed being the fat mum and I couldn’t take it any longer
Her weight soon began slipping off and she is now a svelte size 14.
“Now I’ve lost the weight I feel so much better – I can play with my son and even my asthma has cleared up too,” she said.
“I go online and use all of Slimming World’s recipes and I do that every week.
“Every Sunday, I’ll write a Sunday to Monday ingredient list and will only buy the food needed for those meals so I don’t end up buying crisps and sweets.”
A friend invited Gemma to join a boot camp in her local area which had such a profound effect on her that she ended up not needing to take her depression medication anymore.
She said: “I used exercise as a way of release and still do now. I then started the Couch to 5K programme and it’s just escalated from there.”
Gemma has now gotten so fit that she’s running this year’s London Marathon for Asthma UK to prove that “anything is possible”.
She said: “Without exercise, I literally do not know where I would be today, it has completely changed my life.”
She decided to sign up for the marathon after joining a Facebook group called Run Mummy Run which was encouraging women to go out and support other women taking part.
I couldn’t walk to the local park and now I’m running a marathon. My life has completely turned around
Being involved in the event in a supporting capacity inspired the mum to sign up to the mammoth challenge herself.
She said: “I couldn’t walk to the local park and now I’m running a marathon. My life has completely turned around.”
Gemma chose to run the marathon in support of Asthma UK as it’s a charity close to her heart.
As well as having lived with asthma herself, Gemma sadly lost her godmother to the condition and is running the gruelling 26.2-mile race in her memory.
Gemma said: “I remember as a young girl cheering on the London marathon runners and getting hi-fives from them.
“I now can’t wait to give out my high fives to the future generation of marathon runners.
“I’m originally from Wapping so running past Tobacco Dock is going to be emotional.
“This charity is something close to my heart as many family members suffer with this condition.
“I no longer need my asthma pump and I think that’s through weight loss and running. My dad has asthma and I sadly lost my godmother Katie to asthma and COPD so I’ll be running this marathon in her memory.”
Training hasn’t been without its difficulties.
Gemma had a fall back in January and broke her wrist – but she’s back on her feet and raring to get to the start line.
A spokesperson for Asthma UK told The Sun Online: “Your asthma can get better through weight loss and exercise but there’s no ‘cure’ as such.
“If you have asthma and are obese, your symptoms are likely to improve if you lose weight.
MORE ON WEIGHT LOSS
“This doesn’t mean you should stop taking your asthma medicines or that you’re completely cured – instead you should go to your GP to review your asthma medicines and symptoms and see if you’re on the right medicines.”
We already know that kids with asthma are up to 60 per cent more likely to be obese and that weight loss in obese patients with asthma tends to lead to fewer symptoms and less reliance on asthma medications.
Gemma is raising funds for Asthma UK through her JustGiving page.
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