In 2005, Lisa Gaghan was eating herself to death. The 5ft 2in former bacon sandwich-maker from Derby was gorging on up to 10,000 calories a day – the equivalent of four McDonald’s meals. Lisa, then aged 28, was so big she could barely walk, and her legs would often give way beneath her. Her weight had reached a dangerous 27st 6lb, and she was a size 32. ‘I was eating for England,’ she says. ‘I’d have bacon sandwiches for breakfast, followed by cake, biscuits, crisps and takeaways. I was eating myself into an early grave.’
But then Lisa had a dramatic change of heart. A friend’s wedding gave her the motivation she needed to lose weight, and she began attending a local Slimming World group. The effect was immediate – in her first week, she lost a staggering 9lb.
Now, an incredible 20st lighter, Lisa is a slim size 8-10 and weighs 7st 6lb. ‘I feel incredible,’ she says. ‘I’m so much healthier and happier now, and I’ve got my life back. Losing weight has changed everything.’
Lisa’s transformation is all the more remarkable given that she has lost the weight without undergoing any sort of surgery or fad diet. Instead, she has simply changed her relationship with food.
‘I was always the one raiding the fridge, but now I don’t even think about food in the same way,’ she says. ‘I still eat the things I love, but in moderation. I might have a little bit of cake or a takeaway, but I don’t overindulge like I used to. It’s all about finding a balance.’
Lisa’s story is an inspiration to us all. Proof that it is possible to turn your life around, no matter how big or small your starting point might be.
A woman who was morbidly obese and eating herself to death has managed to shed a whopping 20st.
Single mum Rachael Farrokh, 37, from Los Angeles, was eating up to 10,000 calories a day and had ballooned to 28st.
She was so large that she was unable to have sex with her husband, Michael, and was terrified she was going to die young.
Rachael, who has two sons, Bryson, 11, and Logan, seven, said: “I was eating myself to death and I knew I had to make a change.
“I was eating up to 10,000 calories a day. I was eating McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizzas, Chinese food.
“I would start eating as soon as I woke up and wouldn’t stop until I went to bed. I was eating out of boredom, sadness and happiness.
“Food was my comfort and my happy place. I never thought I had a problem because I wasn’t overeating in front of other people, I was eating in secret.”
At her heaviest, Rachael was a size 28 and wearing a 6XL shirt. She could barely walk and her health was rapidly deteriorating.
She said: “I was so big that I couldn’t have sex with my husband. We tried but it was impossible.
“I was also terrified I was going to die young. I have two young boys and I was worried I wouldn’t be around to see them grow up.”
Rachael was put on bed rest and was told she was at risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
In January 2016, she underwent gastric sleeve surgery and has managed to shedding 20st.
She is now a slim size 12-14 and feels incredible. Rachael said: “I feel like a new woman. I’m so much happier and healthier now.
“I can play with my kids and I feel like I have my life back.”