Real Life: I Was Suffocating on My Own Fat!
A tubby mum who almost suffocated herself from carrying so much extra weight has shed an incredible 10st. Jo Sleet, 38, weighed a whopping 22st and wore size 28 clothes. She’d stop breathing up to three times an hour while sleeping – something her terrified mum spotted after they spent a night away together. Jo was diagnosed with sleep apnoea – a life-threatening condition that causes people to stop breathing for several seconds.
“My doctor told me to lose weight or it could cost me my life,” she says. “My worst nightmare came true when doctors told me to wear an oxygen mask every night. It was a phobia of mine and it made me feel really claustrophobic – I hated it. It took me a couple of months to get used to wearing the mask but I knew I needed to slim down so I wouldn’t have to use it anymore. I desperately wanted to lose weight.”
Spurred by Social Media Shame
After many years of suffering from low self-esteem and a lack of energy, Jo asked her 10-year-old daughter, Molly, to take a picture of her at her biggest before posting it on Facebook. “I thought that if everyone knew about my plan to lose weight it would make me less likely to fail as I would face public humiliation,” she says. “I received really positive feedback, and gaining so much support made me even more determined to reach my goal.” Jo also plucked up the courage to join a slimming class and, from then on, she started shedding kilos fast. “Every time I dropped a dress size I posted another picture of myself on Facebook,” she says. “People were incredibly supportive and I felt as though my confidence was starting to return, it having been nonexistent for ages. In just over a year I shrank from 22st down to 12st and I’m now a size 12. For the first time in my life I can wear clothes from the high-street. It’s all happened so fast that I often forget that I’m actually thin now. I’d still like to lose another stone so that I have a healthy body mass index.”
She Swapped Fast Food for Fruit
Jo is now inspiring other overweight people by setting up her own slimming group. She’s also swapped takeaway curries for low-fat ones she makes herself and has ditched the litres of cola she used to drink for glasses of water. Breakfast used to mean toast and crumpets dripping with butter, but these days she opts for fresh fruit. “I’ve never eaten so much in my life,” she says. “The diet plan isn’t about restricting yourself – it’s about eating the right food and having a balanced diet. I’ve gone back to basics with cooking and only use fresh ingredients, and I stay away from junk food. I feel like a different woman!”