An NHS worker who was asked if she “was expecting” when wearing her scrubs has lost a whopping 7 stone after the comment left her mortified.
Hannah Stewart, 42, was inspired to lose the pounds after her tummy bulged out of her XXL scrubs and colleagues and patients asked “when she was due”.
The mum-of-two was tipping the scales at 21 stone and admits she used to gorge on surgery cereal and biscuits for breakfast, sandwiches lathered in butter for lunch and bowls of pasta with jars of sauce for dinner.
Hannah ballooned to a size 24 after the birth of her daughters Evie,12 and Lottie, eight.
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Balancing her work at University Hospitals Birmingham, with being a full-time mum left her feeling tired and she turned to convenience food – but her unhealthy meals made her even more sluggish.
After falling asleep at her desk, Hannah knew she had to make a change and set a good example to her children and patients – so she overhauled her diet in May 2017.
The super slimmer ate nutritious foods like fruit and yoghurt for breakfast and rice, couscous and vegetables for lunch and dinner – and now she’s a healthy 13st 9lbs and slips into a slender size 12 with ease.
Hannah, a senior clinical photographer, from Birmingham, West Midlands, said: “My patients and colleagues used to ask me if I was pregnant and when the baby was due.
“I used to laugh it off, but deep down I was absolutely mortified.
“I’d say ‘no, I’m just fat’ but it made me feel awful.
“I had to wear scrubs a lot at work and I always had to get an XXL size.
“When I got really big, my rolls were spilling out of the largest size and it made me cry.
“Sometimes there wouldn’t be any and I would have to squeeze into a smaller size – it was horrendous.
“Inside it was crushing and mentally it would really upset me, and it happened quite a lot.”
Hannah also wanted to get fitter for her daughters – to keep up with them – as she could feel her size was putting a strain on her body and making her asthma and sleep apnea worse.
Hannah said: “I didn’t realise how big I was getting, but before I knew it was 21 stone and in denial.
“I was at Drayton Manor theme park with my girls and I got turfed off of a ride because they couldn’t do the seat up over my sizable stomach.
“The lady had to politely ask me to get off the ride and everyone was looking and I knew they’d be thinking: ‘That’s because she’s too fat.’
“It was one of those moments where I just wanted the earth to swallow me up.
“It was a full ride and it was so utterly humiliating, I had to leave my eight-year-old daughter on it on her own and watch from the sidelines.
“I also had chest infections that exasperated my asthma and I had sleep apnea because of my weight so I wasn’t sleeping.
“I hurt everywhere and I just thought: ‘Enough is enough.’
“I need to be healthy for my children.”
In May 2017, Hannah joined Slimming World and found it helped her eat a better diet and encouraged her to start pilates and walk as much as she could – and the weight dropped off.
Hannah said: “I used to eat so many crisps, they were my real fall back.
“I would have a sandwich slathered in full-fat butter and dressing for lunch and convenient greasy meals for dinner.
“Then in the evening, I would have savoury, sweet, savoury, sweet just lots of chocolate and crips.
“So Slimming World was fantastic, it was like a little family, I went through all the highs and lows with them and it gave me a bit of time out every Tuesday night from the family.
“It’s amazing what I can eat, I’m never hungry and I still fill up on carbs.
“It’s any meat without fat, rice, couscous, pasta, potatoes and then you have to have salad and vegetables to speed up your metabolism.
“I also always eat yoghurt and fruit for breakfast as it’s so important and I do a lot of homemade soups for lunch.
“Then in the evening, I can have a couple of treats to stop any cravings.
“I also do pilates which has strengthened my core a lot and walk as much as I can which I increased at the start of the first lockdown.
“I used to struggle to even walk to the front of the hospital from my car.
“I feel great now.
“I get members of staff asking ‘where have you gone?’ and accepting those compliments is a new thing for me so it’s really lovely.
“Now I can slip into a size medium scrubs – and thankfully no patients or colleagues are mistaking me as pregnant anymore.”