A mum and daughter are almost unrecognisable after shedding a massive 10 stone between them – all because of a ‘mortifyig’ holiday photo.
Samantha Gordon has struggled with her weight and portion control since she was a child.
But it wasn’t until she saw a “mortifing” photo of herself while she was on holiday with fiancé, Tommy Greenan, 28, that she decided to take action.
The mum-of-two, who weighed 14st 4lb, joined diet club WW and saw the pounds melt away.
Inspired by her 27-year-old daughter, her mum Adele Gordon, who weighed 15st 5lb, joined her at the diet class.
Between them, the dynamic duo, of East Kilbride, Scotland, have shed almost 10 stone, with bride-to-be Samantha now a tiny size 8 and weighing just 8st 6lb.
Insurance worker Adele is 11st 7lb size 10/12.
Samantha, who has two daughters, Amellia, three, and Olivia, one, said: “I was getting to my goal weight before mum joined WW, but I remembered how it felt to have your confidence at rock bottom.
“Nobody wants that for their mum, but I knew she would only be able to change when she felt ready. Now I’m so incredibly proud of her.”
Both women had been overweight for as long as they could remember with Adele, who is currently single, saying that pregnancy accelerated her weight gain.
The 54-year-old said: “I was eating for two for nine months, then out popped Samantha, this tiny baby and I was left with all the weight.”
Joining a local slimming group, she managed to shift around four stone, which she kept off for a few years – but working hectic 13-hour days meant it eventually crept back on.
She explained: “When I first lost the weight everyone was telling me how great I looked. I kept it off for a while – but not for good.
“Over the last decade, it has crept back up. Working long, hectic days meant reaching for quick-fix convenience food and snacks.
“Then, you get into a catch 22 of being unhappy about your size then comfort eating to cope with it.”
At her size 18-20 heaviest, Adele would have a toastie and bag of crisps for breakfast, a pizza, Chinese takeaway or chips dripping in curry sauce for lunch, followed by more junk food for dinner.
She would also fill up on snacks of chocolate and sweets throughout the day.
Adele added: “I’d buy big bags of snacks and could never have just one. Also, whenever there were biscuits or cake in the office, I’d delve in like there was no tomorrow.
“I had no idea how many calories I was having a day. I knew what I was doing to myself, but I pushed it to the back of my mind and just kept shovelling food in.”
Meanwhile, Samantha, who had also piled on the pounds over the years by eating huge portions, had an epiphany after seeing a photo of herself on holiday in Gran Canaria in 2011.
She explained: “I wasn’t so much one for snacking, but my main meals were big portions of all the wrong things.
“I’d eat chicken nuggets, fish and chips, silly amounts of pasta – just things you could bung in the oven easily.
“I also avoided exercise as I was so self-conscious. My self-esteem was massively impacted.
“But, one day in 2011, I got back from a holiday and was looking through photos and couldn’t believe how big I’d got.
“For so long, I hadn’t realised what I was putting in my body – and if I hadn’t seen that photo, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
When she got back Samantha joined WW.
Although nervous about seeing exactly what she weighed she soon found her footing with her new, healthy eating regime.
She found WW’s SmartPoints system, which tracks food and drink to nudge users toward a more nutritious diet a particular help.
Samantha said: “One thing I learnt was to stop listening to those critical voices in my head.
“It is hard when you have a week where you’ve been really healthy and haven’t lost anything.
“I fell off the wagon for a good two months and dreaded going back to get weighed, but then I realised I had to face the music, no matter what.”
Since then, Samantha has remained on-plan, only taking a break throughout her pregnancies – the second of which turned out to be the push Adele needed to join her daughter on the road to total transformation.
With her size already meaning she found it difficult to run around after Amellia and play with her when Samantha announced she was expecting again, Adele feared she would struggle to find the energy to be an active gran of two.
She said: “Samantha had been very good with me in the past, showing me the WW app – which I now know is wonderful.
“She showed me how you can use it to scan foods in the supermarket to see how many points they’re worth and encouraged me to use it myself.
“But the thing with this is you have to be ready to be 100 per cent committed and need to do it at a time that’s right for you. That time, for me, was with Samantha’s second pregnancy.
“I already had one grandchild I struggled to keep up with. Hearing there was a second on the way was the kick up the backside I needed.
“Plus, it was a real inspiration seeing Samantha at the other side of her journey. Not only did she look amazing but she seemed so much happier too.”
Now, the pair have totally overhauled their lives.
Ditching the calorie-laden junk food, breakfast now will be fruit and yoghurt or a mushroom omelette, lunch is salmon or chicken salad and dinner is always fresh and nutrient-packed.
Both have also taken up exercise, with Adele even going for 30 minute runs every day on her lunch break.
Best of all, Samantha’s new slender figure means she has managed to find her dream size eight wedding dress, which she will wear to marry Tommy in August 2020.
Speaking as WW have introduced their new Wellness Wins initiative, where members can earn rewards simply by sticking to healthy plans, she said: “I was so lucky to find my dream dress, and being a size eight is keeping me focused too.
“I’m so pleased that Mum and I have got to do this together, and that my healthy habits will now rub off on my own daughters.”
Meanwhile, her new look has helped Adele’s self esteem to soar.
She added: “I’m a completely different person now, confidence-wise.
“Before, I was always hiding away or trying to cover up – but now, I can go on the beach in a swimsuit, or pose for a photo without thinking twice.
“I really want to thank my coach Christine Fleming. Samantha has been such an inspiration, I can’t thank her enough for being there for me.”