I was so fat, people thought I was my sis's mum
Tuesday 28 February 2012
Junk-food addict Naomi Brevitt reached a hefty 18st after almost two decades of binge-eating, but not only was she unfit – piling on the pounds made her look twice her age, too.
Incredibly, aged 29, she looked dramatically older than her two sisters, Rachel, 34, and Teresa, 39, and was often mistaken for a woman in her 40s.
But last year, the nurse decided to go on a diet. Now 30, she’s shed 7st and is unrecognisable.
Naomi says: “I looked fat and haggard – when I was out with my sisters, people assumed I was their mum. Now, after dieting, friends say I look like a teenager!”
Aged 10, Naomi was 10st. She recalls: “For breakfast, I’d eat Rice Krispies with sugar and two Mars Bars. I’d snack on buttered crumpets or a muffin, then have a burger and chips for lunch. I’d eat crisps and biscuits in the afternoon, a meat and veg dinner, then more sugary cereal. Mum didn’t know how much I was eating because I’d sneak food into my room.”
When she was 16, Naomi, who’s 5ft 4, looked like a woman in her 20s at a size 18 and 13st. And she reveals she received abuse from strangers. She says: “They’d shout: ‘Who ate all the pies?’ and ‘Fatty.’ Sometimes I’d cry, though I tried to ignore them. Mum would tell me to reduce my portion sizes, but food was comforting.”
But there were advantages to being bigger. Explaining being overweight made her age faster, Naomi says: “I never got asked for ID at the cinema because I looked older.”
Aged 21, Naomi met her first boyfriend, 31. She says: “He said he liked my body, but I insisted on having the lights off in bed.”
The couple split when she fell pregnant with their son, Noah, now eight, and Naomi continued to binge. She says: “My favourite meal was chicken tikka masala with rice and naan bread. At work, I’d sometimes have pie and chips for lunch.”
By the time she was 25, Naomi weighed 17st. The weight gain made her skin looser and she was often mistaken for being middle-aged. She says: “Colleagues hinted I should use anti-ageing products. I didn’t realise how old I looked. When I went clubbing, men in their 40s would approach me, thinking I was their age.”
When Rachel got married in September 2010, 18st Naomi wore a size 28 bridesmaid dress. She says: “When I saw the pictures, I looked so horrible.”
But in January 2011, Naomi signed up to WeightWatchers. She says: “I didn’t want to be fat and 30, so I started dieting. I had yoghurt for breakfast, snacked on fruit and an Alpen bar, then ate a chicken salad for lunch. I’d have fruit in the afternoon, then fish and veg for dinner. I also exercised three times a week. It was hard but, as I lost weight, I enjoyed it.”
Now Naomi is 11st and a size 12. She says: “I love my new body. I feel so much happier. When I look back at photos of my sister’s wedding, I’m horrified – I looked like the mother of the bride! Recently, a friend said I looked 16 and now men in their 20s chat me up. I want to find a man, so I can show off my body.”
READ MORE REAL LIFE STORIES HERE