Watch: Woman documents her incredible eight stone weight loss journey
A woman has revealed how a cruel comment from a stranger about her size kickstarted her incredible eight stone (51kg) weight loss.
Makeda Roberts, 27, from Croydon was inspired to overhaul her diet and fitness regime in January 2021 after a man made a nasty remark about her weight, which motivated her to turn her life around.
After joining a slimming group and starting home workouts, by November 2022, the customer service associate had dropped from 19st (121kg) to 11st (70kg), going from a size 22 to a trim size 10.
Roberts says she is now grateful for the horrible comment, which lead to her embarking on her weight loss journey.
"I've always struggled with my weight, yo-yoing throughout my twenties and teenage years," she explains.
Recalling the experience of a stranger commenting on her weight, she says: "Someone in the street on a bike stopped me and shouted, 'You're beautiful', before turning and adding: 'I'm joking you're a fat b****'."
While obviously upsetting, Roberts says it became a turning point for her, encouraging her to get healthy.
"I just thought I have to sort myself out," she says. "I didn't want words to hurt me anymore."
Roberts started by tackling what she describes as an addiction to fried chicken, which she used to have up to three times a week, totalling a £2.6K yearly spend on takeaways.
"I just loved anything fried," she says. "I would have six wings and chips, from KFC a three-piece chicken box meal and burger."
But having decided to change her lifestyle, Roberts decided to go cold turkey on fried food and hasn't eaten fried chicken and chips since embarking on her weight loss journey.
Instead she joined Slimming World and adopted a healthier diet, swapping fried chicken for salmon and chips for broccoli.
"When I left school and went to college and university, I had no self-control and the pounds piled on over the years," she explains.
"Lockdown made it a lot worse. I would eat fried chicken and chips every day and a lot of fizzy drinks.
"I loved burgers, kebabs and McDonalds too, but I haven't touched junk food since I started my weight loss journey.
"I haven't eaten fried chicken, pizza and McDonalds for a year – I've forgotten what it tastes like.
"I have an addictive personality so I know if I had one bite of a burger that would be it."
As well as making healthy switches, she now only cooks with Frylite oil.
"I have tunnel vision," she explains of her new food habits. "I'll pick up a healthy cereal bar instead of biscuits.
"I still like to go out and party, but I see having a drink as my treat now.
"I won't end my night with chicken and chips anymore. I will get home at 5am and instead cook eggs or tinned salmon.
"Before I didn't know how to cook."
Roberts also changed her exercise regime, starting with taking on high-intensity 30-minute workouts four times a week at home.
As well as an ab-attack class – an intense ab workout including Russian twists and planking – she also does a max-out cardio, which includes high-knees, burpees, squats, ankle taps and high jumps.
After changing her diet and beginning her fitness schedule, Roberts says she saw steady weight loss over the months.
"People have accused me of taking pills but it is all diet and exercise," she says. "Everyone is so shocked, but I've stuck to it and pushed so hard.
"People think it's a quick-fix solution but it's hard work and dedication – it [the weight] doesn't drop off there and then."
While she has lost an impressive eight stone, and currently weighs 11 stone, Roberts says her target weight is 10 stone (64kg).
"I'm still not where I want to be, but I feel like my confidence is better," she says.
"I feel great, I'm fit and I can walk up the stairs without getting out of breath.
The weight loss has also has an impact on her style.
"I wear things I would never wear before," she explains. "I've lost weight everywhere, even on my hands and feet. Some of my shoes are too big now."
She hopes that by sharing her health and fitness overhaul it might help encourage others to embark on a similar journey.
"I want to help others keep pushing on and inspire them to not ever give up," she adds.
Roberts' diet before
Breakfast – A chocolate bar followed by a full English breakfast
Lunch – A meal deal – a BLT, a chocolate bar, crisps or Chicken and dumplings from a Caribbean shop
Dinner – Oven food or fried rice with chicken swimming in oil. Spaghetti Bolognese and lasagne with shop bought sauce, smothered in ketchup. Chips with everything
Snacks – Biscuits, crisps and Haribos
Drinks – Full fat fizzy drinks, coca cola and Irn Bru
Roberts' diet after
Breakfast – Blueberries, blackberries, pineapples with a green tea
Lunch – A cereal bar or a chicken salad
Dinner `– Salmon, potatoes and broccoli. Sea bass and rice. Mediterranean pasta
Snacks `– Fibre one bars, Alpen bars, crackers with cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, 25g of tortilla crisps
Drinks – Diet lemonade, water, green tea
Three work-outs a week – including cardio and ab-attack
Additional reporting SWNS.