A 20 stone woman who was told ‘get down the gym fatty’ on a night out has shed a third of her weight in time for her dream wedding.
Sarah Gould, 26, was so upset by the verbal abuse of the unknown male who approached her in a nightclub it prompted her to lose over six stone and drop five dress sizes.
The full time mother-of-two says it spurred her on to turn her day-to-day living around and drop from a size 22 to a size 12 in time for her wedding this July.
She said: ‘I was stood there minding my own business and he came up and said “you should get down the gym fatty”.
‘I just broke down as I left the club. I got a taxi at about 11pm, I hadn’t been there long and cried all the way home. I was distraught.
‘That night I’d got my hair done and bought a new top but that shattered me.
As soon as I composed myself I thought I am going to do something about this. I was determined I would be slimmer.’
Sarah from Kidderminster, Worcs., was also called fatty at school and told by an ex-boyfriend that she was too fat as she topped 20 stone in 2007.
Her weight loss she claims is down to a fun eating and exercise programme that involves walking three or four miles a day rather than rigorous workouts at the gym.
She has dropped from 18 stone in January last year to 11 stone 13lbs and now coordinates two walking classes a week to help others shed the pounds.
But she said the pain of the remarks over her weight in 2010 as she stood waiting to get a drink at the bar will always be her motivation to prove people wrong.
She said: ‘I should thank that guy that made that comment even if he is an idiot. He wouldn’t recognise me now. It’s a great feeling to have turned things around.
‘In January last year I then saw my New Year’s Eve photos and was horrified. I told my friends to take them down off Facebook.
‘From that point onwards I have never looked back. I woke up on January 5 in 2011 and said ‘that’s it – it starts today’ and I haven’t stopped since.’
Sarah is now looking forward to an idyllic summer church wedding with partner Paulo, 39, who himself has recently lost two-and-a half stone and their two children Joseph, four and Luke, two.
She is set to wear the size 12 white wedding dress she said could have only dreamt of a year ago and has already picked new bikinis for their honeymoon in Tunisia.
After trying several diets that did not suit her, she started walking up to 25 miles a week and cut out all unnecessary car journeys.
She walks to do shopping at a supermarket over a mile away rather than at a convenience store a few yards away from her home.
Her ‘Walk and Talk’ classes now attract over 30 people every week and involve two to three mile strolls followed by a weigh-in and a talk about diet.
The eating habits she followed of three takeaways a week and biscuits as snacks have changed for a healthier routine that still involves rewarding herself with treats once a week.
She has changed her 2,000 calorie lunches for Ryvita and fruit based eating in the day with a larger healthy evening meal.
Sarah said: ‘I just want to inspire others who have felt as low as I did. My diet and regime is fun and I think that is the key to it.
‘I couldn’t get into a size 22 and now I’m a size 12. I feel amazing. I have totally changed my outlook on life.
‘The first three months were really hard but it’s all about changing your relationship with food.
‘Before I would eat a huge lunch with maybe two sandwiches, a bag of crisps and three sausage rolls.
‘Now I go to a party with a buffet and don’t even look at anything fattening, it’s about changing your mentality as much as anything.
‘I lost the weight through healthy eating and not calling it a diet. Then I started walking and thought I should make it a social thing.
‘Over 40 people got in touch once I created a Facebook group. One woman said it was better than any diet she tried and that I could be the next Rosemary Conley.’
Sarah, a former receptionist and customer services executive has enjoyed seeing others lose weight so much, she now hopes to retrain as personal fitness instructor.
She said: ‘My long term aim is to become an instructor. I have found it really satisfying helping people and will start studying for qualifications later this year.
‘It was horrible what was said to me by that guy but I turned what happened into something positive.’