JUST over two years ago, Claire Pursey weighed 23stone 9lb. Her health was so bad she earned the name “sick note” at work.

Now, without doing any exercise, the paralegal from Didcot has shed 9st – and is now just 10lb away from her target weight of 13st 9lb.

The 33-year-old did not join a gym or pound the streets in her running gear, but simply stopped eating ready meals and started cooking herself.

Mrs Pursey, who lives on the Ladygrove estate with husband Brett and their children, said: “I feel like I have got my life back.

“I can run around with my kids or go on a bouncy castle with them, it is brilliant.”

Although weight had been a life-long bugbear, she said it only became a serious health risk when she suffered postnatal depression.

The Oxford Times:

  • Claire weighed 23st 9lbs

Mrs Pursey, who grew up in Abingdon and went to Larkmead School, suffered minor depression following the birth of her eldest, Abigail, now seven.

But it was after she had twins, Esmae and Brandon, in November 2009, that it grew to its worst.

She said: “I just couldn’t cope, I didn’t want anything to do with them.

“It was so hard to cope with that, not feeling a bond to them.

“I had twins and a two-and-a-half year old daughter so it was too easy to pick up the phone and order a takeaway.”

Now, she added, she could not be without the four-year-old twins.

Although she was prescribed anti-depressants, the weight stayed on.

Matters came to a head one night when she could not get to sleep because she had breathing problems. Her GP told her that her weight was suffocating her, and referred her to a slimming class.

Going along every Tuesday night for an hour and a half, she did no extra exercise, but learnt to change her diet.

Formerly, the only food she would cook was frozen ready meals.

Now, she said, she cooks all her own meals, avoiding hidden salt, sugar and fat.

She said: “If you want to lose weight, your mind has to be in the right place.”

She is so impressed by the difference her change in diet made, she is starting her own weekly slimming class in Abingdon from Monday, September 8.


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