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A formerly obese woman, who would eat up to 100 packets of cheese and onion crisps a month, shed an impressive nine stone after three heartbreaking miscarriages.
Tina Cotton from Staffordshire began trying for a baby at over 19 stone. Yet despite being warned to lose weight by GPs in order to achieve her dream of having more children, the 45-year-old fell into a downward spiral of comfort eating.
Then in January 2017, Cotton decided to turn her life around for good.
After adopting a balanced diet and walking up to 30,000 steps a day with the help of tracking monitor Fitbit, she now weighs in at 10 stone 13lbs and is down to a dress size 10.
“I don't eat any crisps at all now, I can't believe I used to put away so many. I'd have at least three packs a day,” the school cook revealed. “I was a comfort eater, I'd eat until I felt sick most days.”
“After I lost my three babies I just couldn't cope with the fact I wasn't going to be a mum again. I felt sad all the time and wasn't taking care of myself at all.”
“Now I have a balanced diet; I do traditional calorie counting, I find it works better than any of these groups that people are obsessed about.”
She first decided to try for more children after marrying partner David Cotton, 48, back in 2006.
After two previously failed marriages, she found him to be a “breath of fresh air” and fell pregnant with now nine-year-old daughter Isabella-Rae in 2009.
Four years later, the couple decided to try for another baby but sadly suffered a miscarriage at eight weeks.
They later went to have another two miscarriages in 2014 and 2015.
“I was desperate to get pregnant and have another baby - it totally ruled my life,” Cotton admitted. “The more stressed I got, the more I ate - it was a vicious circle.”
“All I would think about was my ovulation cycle, and which exact days to have sex on- it got very clinical,” she continued. “I was spending all my money on pregnancy tests, it was all I thought about, it wasn't healthy at all.”
After an awakening trip to her local GP, she decided to stop trying for another baby. Two years later, she decided to make change her lifestyle for good.
“I had been trying little diets here and there but none of it stuck, I just couldn't keep it up and would be back to my old ways, comfort eating and shoving junk food into me,' she revealed. “Weight loss groups just weren't for me and had ironically actually put me off dieting.”
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“But just before Christmas I realised that something had to give. I had nothing to wear for Christmas Day and was too embarrassed to go shopping for size 26 stuff in the shops,” she continued. “Thankfully, what I'd ordered online did fit in the end but I realised it was no way to live.”
Cotton embarked on her first diet in January making sure to cut out alcohol which she largely credits for her impressive weight loss.
“My husband wasn't too happy at first with all the new healthy meals I was making us so I just ended up cooking two dinners,” Cotton said. “He stuck to his pies and mash while I was chomping away on salads and grilled chicken! But he's always been super supportive - I couldn't have done it without him.”
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After losing an incredible six stone in the first year alone, she started calorie counting to keep the weight loss momentum going with her bra size dropping from a 42H to a 34D.
“Walking as much as I can and watching what I eat has been the key for me - once you've got the motivation you can achieve anything,” Cotton revealed. “I was so sad after losing my three babies but I've got a new lease of life now and I love watching my kids grow up into amazing people. I really am very lucky.”
“One thing I do know, is that I'll never touch a packet of cheese and onion crisps again,” she added.