When doctors told Jennifer Baxter that her weight put her at increased risk of serious illness or death if she caught Covid, she knew something had to change.
The thought of leaving her two young children, aged two and 11, without a mum “terrified” her.
And after years of feeling embarrassed, ashamed and restricted by her body, the shocking reality pushed her to make a change that is now inspiring people around the world.
The 31-year-old, from Walker, started sharing her weight loss journey on social media to keep herself motivated and hold herself accountable for her body.
But a TikTok video of her incredible 6st 1lb weight loss has since received over 1.3 million views.
Jennifer said: “I am a carer to my son who has special needs, and the thought of leaving him behind due to my own selfishness just flicked a switch inside of my head.
“I knew I wanted to shift the weight as quickly as I could and that is how it all began.”
Before she started her weight loss journey, Jennifer weighed 19st 9lb and said she was ashamed and embarrassed of the person she saw in the mirror.
She would hide in her size 22 figure under layers of clothes, even during hot, sunny days.
And she would act extra happy and loud to try and disguise her true feelings.
Jennifer added: “I had lost all of my confidence and was stopping myself from taking any opportunity that would arise, as I would be too self-conscious.
“I always thought that people would judge me if they saw me. It stopped me from going to parties, taking new jobs, going to public events and many other things.
“I felt restricted, depressed and anxious all of the time.”
And now she has over 10,000 followers and regularly receives messages from people who she has inspired with her story.
Jennifer, who works as a legal advisor, said: “Some people have messaged me saying that they are feeling so depressed and have no one else who understands what they are going through.
“I know how people are feeling and I am able to put myself in their shoes.
“In the beginning I had every excuse that you could possibly imagine, and I know how easy it is to just continue to be unhappy because that is your normal.
“I have been that girl, the one who feels lost and doesn’t know who to turn to, and I love the feeling that I am the person who is helping them through some of the most difficult times of their lives.”
Jennifer has slimmed from a size 22 to a size 12 by sticking to a calorie deficit and regular exercise.
She has ditched her old eating habits for a more varied diet and no longer skips breakfast and lunch, which she would replace with snacks if and when she was hungry.
The mum-of-two currently weighs 13st 8lb and would like to lose a further 10kg to meet her target weight.
And she has achieved her results with the help of a nutrition and training plan from Food 4 Thoughts, which is co-founded by former Love Island contestant Scott Thomas.
Jennifer, who is now an ambassador for Food 4 Thoughts, said: “I tried to cut out the chocolate, biscuits and cheese, but I found it so difficult and it didn’t take me long to slip back into bad habits.
“It was one evening in August when I was on Instagram when I saw a post on Scott Thomas’ wall talking about how he had changed his life for the better with nutrition.
“It turns out that clicking on that story was the first step in changing my life too.”
She added: “I don’t see myself as an inspiration at all and I don’t think I ever will. I am just an ordinary girl from Newcastle.
“But if I can make one other person feel better about themselves than it makes it all worthwhile.”