Mum's 11st weight loss means she can now keep up with her kids: 'I'm more confident'
A mother-of-two who couldn't keep up with her energetic children has gone through an impressive 11 stone weight loss regime and seen her confidence soar in the process.
Kelly Francis, 31, weighed 21st 5lbs at her heaviest and felt like a "prisoner" inside her own body.
The support worker, from Swansea, Wales, now weighs a healthy 9st 7lbs and feels like she's now a better mother to her kids.
She believes her obesity was linked to her losing her mum when she was just four years old, and being given sweet treats by her grandmother to cheer her up. Kelly says this triggered a cycle of emotional eating.
Kelly explained: "I was never on the small side when I was at school. I always remember feeling shy and embarrassed about my size which continued as an adult."
This was exacerbated when she gave birth to her two children, the first in 2009 and the second in 2012, after which she struggled to lose her baby weight.
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"I didn't have much time or a lot of support. I would snack on sugary foods, crisps, biscuits, and chocolate," she says.
"I drank lots of fizzy drinks, didn't exercise, never had regular meals and ate far too many takeaways. McDonald's was a favourite of mine.
"I had my second baby in 2012 and by this point my weight was uncontrollable. I was comfort eating to make me feel good but it was just doing the opposite. It was facilitating my unhappiness."
It began to impact on the type of mother she wanted to be because she "struggled to keep up" with her active children.
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Kelly also reveals her size and shape had a negative effect on her mental health. "I was so low in confidence and hated the way I looked and felt.
"Whenever I went clothes shopping, I had to buy whatever fitted me rather than what I wanted to wear. Leaving a shopping trip just reiterated and magnified just how big I was.
"I would end up feeling more deflated and more of a failure than I already felt. My weight was making me a prisoner in my own body."
In 2019, Kelly came across a fitness app which motivated her to change her lifestyle for the better and she started to introduce exercise into her routine.
She recalled: "I began my weight loss journey after finding the NHS 'Couch to 5k' app. I set myself a challenge to run and complete it. I started losing more and more weight at a faster pace, gradually getting fitter and more confident.
Read more: James Argent who shed 13 stone is 'more confident in the bedroom' after surgical removal of loose skin
"As my confidence grew I participated in new things such as Parkrun and I entered my first race which was a five-mile run. I got such a high from completing it, I burst into tears as I crossed the line.
"I then went home and immediately looked for the next race I could sign up for."
However, Kelly admits there's still one body issue she wants to fix — the weight loss has left her with excess skin which she hopes to have removed through surgery.
She explained: "I can't say that I am completely where I envisioned myself to be or that my confidence is back fully because although I've lost a lot of weight, it comes with its own battles.
Read more: Woman who lost five stone is unrecognisable but says she is now treated differently for being ‘beautiful’
"My excess skin is one of those battles. When I spoke to health professionals, I was not entitled to be put on the list for skin removal as my health is not at risk.
"I found this quite sad and disheartening as when I was at my biggest I could have gone on the list of a gastric bypass, but instead I took it upon myself, did the hard work, persevered and achieved it through determination."
One thing's for sure, there's nothing standing in the way of this power mum now.
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