Woman shares weight loss journey after dropping from a size 20 to a size 8

Daniella Hemsley went from a size 20 to a size 8. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)
Daniella Hemsley went from a size 20 to a size 8. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)

A woman is sharing her incredible weight loss journey, which saw her lose over 4st 1lb (26kg) and drop from a size 20 to a size eight.

Daniella Hemsley, 21, from Birmingham has opened up about her body transformation in the hope she can inspire others.

At her heaviest, aged 15, Hemsley, a social media creator, weighed 14st 13lb (95kg) and wore size 20 clothes.

She believes her weight issues stemmed from having a poor relationship with food from an early age, having turned to comfort-eating when her parents were splitting up.

"My parents separated when I was 12 – it was during my transition to high school from primary school and it really affected me," she explains.

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Daniella Hemsley went from a size 20 to a size 8. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)
Hemsley looks unrecognisable after going from a size 20 to a size eight. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)

Following the separation, Hemsley says she found herself in a dark place during her teenage years, even quitting school for a period of time.

"I felt very alone and turned to food for comfort as it was my escape," she continues. "I would just eat and get bigger.

"I’d be eating up to 8,000 calories in one sitting; a whole pack of biscuits, six bags of crisps, a whole chocolate bar and ice cream.

"I’d eat beyond being full and then would be in agony due to eating so much."

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Hemsley says her weight issues and mental wellbeing lead to her falling into something of a "vicious cycle".

"I didn't shower or wash my hair, I wore baggy clothes to hide myself and I was really unhappy, but it was a vicious cycle," she explains.

"I would hate myself and then feel bad and eat more.

"I stopped going to school as my mental health deteriorated and I didn't have any friends. I had no life, and I didn't look after myself.

"I didn’t know what to do, everything I watched on television would make me cry, the people looked so happy and I wanted that.

"I was in a dark hole."

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Hemsley pictured during her weight loss. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)
Hemsley pictured during her weight loss. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)

The turning point came, aged 15, when the then teenager became determined to kickstart her weight loss journey.

"One day something just clicked, something inside me said, 'Enough is enough' and I did something about it," she says.

Despite not knowing any of the equipment other than the treadmill, Hemsley joined a gym.

“I learnt some exercises from one of the personal trainers who offered to help me, started lifting weights and really got into it," she explains.

By age 16 and having already lost four stone, Hemsley also started bodybuilding.

"I really got into fitness and nutrition, focussing on working out and what I was eating," she says.

In year nine she also decided to go back to school and went on to pass all her exams with an A grade.

Hemsley's relationship with food also improved, thanks to her new healthy living regime.

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Hemsley got into the gym during her weight loss journey. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)
Hemsley got into the gym during her weight loss journey. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)

"When I met my boyfriend in 2021, he helped me to finally develop a good relationship with food and I stopped counting calories," she says.

"I don’t believe in diets, just ensuring you have a healthy lifestyle and listening to your body.

"I now opt for low-fat or fat-free products, drink plant-based milk and eat a lot of lean foods, as well as eating smaller portions."

Now weighing 10st 12lb (69kg) and wearing size eight clothing, Hemsley says her body transformation has given her a new-found confidence.

“Fitness and the gym have changed my life," she says.

"I developed a fashion sense, started looking after myself and taking pride in my appearance.

“I'm a completely different person."

Read more: 12 expert-approved weight loss tips good for your body and mind

Hemsley now hopes to inspire others on social media. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)
Hemsley now hopes to inspire others on social media. (@daniella.hemlsey/CATERS)

Hemsley also credits her weight loss for encouraging her to take up a new career in social media.

She now has over 182K followers on TikTok and hopes to be able to inspire others to kickstart their own journey.

"I'm also a qualified personal trainer," she adds. "I was going to pursue a career as a PT but since having a social media platform, I try to inspire people on there.

"Now I vlog and TikTok for a living and I’m living the dream," she says. "Without it [her weight loss journey] I wouldn’t be where I am today, now I want to help others."

Additional reporting Caters.