11st weight loss se­cret

Jane Brat­ton, 36, used her Valen­tine’s Day present to help shift the pounds

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As I looked out of the kitchen win­dow, I saw my hus­band John play­ing foot­ball with our sons Bai­ley, then six, and Brody, two. It was sum­mer 2014 and dart­ing around the gar­den with the ball, they all looked like they were hav­ing so much fun. Spot­ting me, Bai­ley waved and, forc­ing a smile, I grinned back, but inside all I felt was jeal­ousy.

I was des­per­ate to run af­ter them and wres­tle them to the floor with tick­les, but they’d only ever known me as the mum who watched from the side­lines. For as long as I can re­mem­ber, my weight had been a bat­tle. Crisps were my weak­ness and through­out my teens I weighed 16st and wore a size 18. I’d lose a few pounds only to pile it all back on, plus a bit more. In Au­gust 2003, when I’d slimmed down from a size 18 to a size 14, I met John in a club. I couldn’t be­lieve it when he asked me out. And, in the months that fol­lowed, happy in a new re­la­tion­ship, I let my diet slip. We treated our­selves to Chi­nese take­aways at the week­ends, as well as ke­babs and burg­ers and chips. It wasn’t long be­fore I piled back on the weight that I’d lost and I crept back up to 24st and a size 22. John gained weight too, but his ware­house job was very phys­i­cal, so he could work it off eas­ily. ‘Look at me, I’m fat and ugly,’

I’d moan, grab­bing my belly.

‘No you’re not, I love you for you,’ John in­sisted.

Fall­ing in love

He never had an is­sue with my weight, and said I should only lose it for me. But as John worked nights, I’d find my­self sit­ting on the sofa alone, watch­ing TV and raid­ing the cup­boards out of bore­dom.

I could eas­ily eat a fam­ily-size bar of choco­late, five bags of crisps, and a whole packet of di­ges­tives in a few hours.

I lost count of the times John found me asleep on the sofa, sur­rounded by empty wrap­pers and my mouth smeared with choco­late. Of course I felt ashamed but I just laughed it off. Only, when I un­dressed each night be­fore bed and looked in the mir­ror, I couldn’t laugh off how aw­ful I felt. With my belly bulging over the waist­line of my knick­ers and rolls of fat spilling out un­der my bra strap, I felt hideous. Too self-con­scious to un­dress in front of John, I’d in­sist on turn­ing the lights off. I’d cover up un­der baggy

T-shirts and trousers, des­per­ate to dis­guise how big I was. Over the next few years I tried diet af­ter diet, but I just didn’t have the willpower. Then in 2008, I fell preg­nant.

Eat­ing for two

‘I’m eat­ing for two now,’ I told John, help­ing my­self to sec­ond por­tions. I told my­self I’d lose weight af­ter the baby was born but when Bai­ley ar­rived in De­cem­ber 2008, I still found my­self mak­ing ex­cuses. ‘I don’t have time to cook healthily,’ I’d rea­son. Then in 2013, Brody was born and I made the same ex­cuses again. By now I weighed 24st and as a size 24, it was play­ing havoc on my health. Just walk­ing up the stairs at home left me gasp­ing. When I pushed Brody in his pushchair to the lo­cal shops, I was sweat­ing pro­fusely. My knees ached from car­ry­ing so much weight and my thighs were sore with chaf­ing. It wasn’t un­til the boys got older that I started to worry more. ‘Come on, Mummy!’ Bai­ley would call to me at the park. ‘I’ll just watch,’ I panted back. While other par­ents could push their kids on swings, I could only watch from the bench. ‘I’m missing out,’ I sighed to John one evening af­ter we’d put the boys to bed. ‘And the kids are too.’

I knew some­thing had to change, so in Fe­bru­ary 2015, as I did the weekly shop, in­stead of fill­ing the trol­ley with chips and pizza, I bought fruit and veg­eta­bles. And as I passed the DVD aisle, I saw Char­lotte Crosby’s work­out

DVD. The re­al­ity

TV star had lost a lot of weight and looked great.

Her 3 Minute Belly Blitz work­out of­fered 12 high­in­ten­sity rou­tines last­ing three min­utes each that promised to burn belly fat. Later that night, I men­tioned it to John. ‘I’ll buy it for you for Valen­tine’s Day,’ he of­fered, se­ri­ously. Granted, an ex­er­cise DVD wasn’t the most ro­man­tic gift, but choco­lates and wine were no good to me when I wanted to lose weight!

As soon as I was given the DVD I couldn’t wait to get started. Af­ter drop­ping Bai­ley off at school, I pressed play on the DVD player, while Brody sat in the room with me, play­ing. Af­ter the first three-minute rou­tine, my cheeks were red and I was al­ready sweat­ing. An­other three min­utes in, I was so out of breath I had to stop.

Turn­ing a cor­ner

I was de­ter­mined though. I started do­ing the work­out five or six times a week and each time I’d get a lit­tle fur­ther into the work­out be­fore col­laps­ing with ex­haus­tion. I be­gan eat­ing health­ier too, ditch­ing the take­aways and choos­ing sal­ads or home­made chicken stir-fries.

Af­ter two months, I fi­nally made it through the whole DVD in one go, and I felt so proud of my­self. Af­ter a month I’d lost 10lb and my clothes were looser.

‘When you reach your tar­get I’ll get you a new wardrobe!’ John promised. I cer­tainly wasn’t go­ing to turn down an of­fer like that, so I kept go­ing. Giv­ing up my favourite snacks was hard, but af­ter the first few weeks it be­came easy, as if I’d flipped a switch.

By Valen­tine’s Day 2016, I was a dif­fer­ent per­son, hav­ing lost an in­cred­i­ble 11st in just a year, and slip­ping into a size 10-12. Keep­ing his prom­ise, John took me shop­ping and for the first time I bought fit­ted dresses and blouses – some­thing I never thought I’d be able to wear. But more im­por­tantly, los­ing weight meant I could do more with the boys.

I love tak­ing Bai­ley, now nine, and Brody, six, swim­ming and cy­cling. But I don’t ever take the small things – like be­ing able to pick them up for a proper cud­dle – for granted.

At just un­der 11st, I might be half the woman I used to be, but now, thanks to the DVD, I’m twice the mum, too.

‘I’m half the woman – but twice the mum!’

The mum felt too big to play with her two sons

At 24 stone, Jane hated how she looked

Th­ese days, Jane looks great and can run around af­ter her boys

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