Addiction to McDonalds sausage and egg McMuffins left me a with a size 28 muffin top and facing death – now lost 10st 2lbs ( almost the weight of my husband) A WOMAN who feared her addiction to McDonalds sausage and egg McMuffins would kill her has lost ten stone after kicking her habit. Mother of two Claire Meade, 38, from Mansfield, scoffed up to two of the burgers every single day for almost three years. Her weight peaked at 22 stone and she was struggling to fit into a size 26 dress. But she vowed to give up the McMuffins and the rest of her fatty diet after seeing an unflattering photograph of her bottom. She joined a slimming club, and using an I phone app to keep tab on her calories, in 13 months on she’s lost an astonishing 10st 2lbs and is now a healthy size 12. As I sank my teeth into the bun and the familiar taste of sausage and egg filled my mouth, I sighed. Suddenly, it didn’t matter anymore that I’d been up three times in the night, or put three washes on yesterday… for a moment, everything was just perfect. ‘Here you go,’ Tom – at least that’s what it said on his name badge – said handing me a warmed bottle. ‘Thanks,’ I mumbled, wiping my greasy mouth with a serviette. ‘C’mon sweetheart,’ I cooed, picking my two-month-old daughter Jenna out of her pram and giving her her bottle. I’d always struggled with my weight. When I married Alan, 37, last year I’d got down to 13 stone, a curvy size 16. But when I fell pregnant with Jenna just a few months later, my weight started to creep up. ‘Well, I’m eating for two now,’ I used to joke as I bypassed the diet options. Slowly the scales crept up to 17 stone. Not that I was that bothered. I’ll lose it after the baby comes, I’d tell myself as my size 20 maternity clothes began to bite. But when 6lb Jenna arrived in March, instead of losing pounds, I started to put on even more weight. I started off well, going on a long walk every morning…only trouble was they’d end up in our local McDonald’s. Well, unlike our tiny local café I could fit the buggy in no problem, they had great baby changing facilities and they were so accommodating. Only thing was, as I asked them to heat up Jenna’s bottle I couldn’t help ordering a little something for myself too. After a fortnight they didn’t even bothering asking what I wanted – ‘Your usual?’ they’d smile, handing me a latte and a sausage and egg Mcmuffin. Needless to say I was putting more weight on top of baby weight. The scales jumped alarmingly, creeping up to 18, 19 stone. The thing, I wasn’t even bothered. I’d let myself go so much that I didn’t even bother trying to lose it. I knew I wanted another baby so what was the point? So for the next three years I ate exactly what I fancied – usually something coated in grease, topped with cheese and sitting in a bun. By the time I fell pregnant with my second in early 2009, I was more than 21 stone. Because of my weight, this time round I was more closely monitored. But thankfully, Jacob was born weighing a healthy 10lb that November. And when we were discharged from hospital? Our first trip was out to McDonald’s with the double buggy. Only now I was bigger one McMuffin wasn’t enough, so l’d scoff two, one straight after the other… Or a double sausage and egg McMuffin and a bacon roll washed down by a large latte But the snack didn’t keep me full for long and soon I’d be heading home thinking about my lunch – a mound of white bread cheese sandwiches followed by another take out for dinner -usually, curry or pizza – before another round of sandwiches before bed. I began to suffer from breathlessness and back pain. My knees ached and I was constantly lethargic. Looking after the kids became difficult. If I bent down on the floor to change Jacob’s nappy I struggled to get back up again and playing games with Jenna wiped me out after just a few minutes. I’d stand in front of the mirror in tears because I hated how I looked in the elasticated black trousers and baggy jersey tops I bought in bulk as they were the only things that fit me. But it was last May that things really reached rock bottom… As I leafed through the photos from our family holiday in Blackpool I smiled at a lovely snap of Jenna playing. If only there wasn’t that big fat lump in the background stuffing her face with an ice cream and spoiling the shot, I thought to myself. And then, as I examined the picture more closely, it struck me – that woman with her bottom spilling over the picnic bench? It was me. I was distraught. ‘Look at me!’ I wailed to Alan. ‘I look like a whale!’ ‘No, you don’t,’ he soothed. But he didn’t look me in the eye. All day I couldn’t stop thinking about that photo. I couldn’t sleep that night, either. And then, at 3am, I dug Alan in the ribs. ‘W-what is it?’ he mumbled. ‘I’ve decided. I’m joining WeightWatchers,’ I announced. ‘Where’s the credit card?’ Five minutes later, I’d booted up the computer and was registering online. ‘Can’t this wait until the morning, love?’ Alan asked, padding in. But I had to strike while the iron was hot. At my first weigh-in, I was a shocking 22 stone. My BMI was a worrying 42. I thought about my Dad; he’d just had a triple heart bypass and he wasn’t anywhere near as big as me. At this rate, I wouldn’t be around to watch my kids grow up. It was the wake-up call I needed. I set myself a target of 12 stone – a realistic goal for my 5ft 9in. It seemed a long way off. I used an app on my phone to keep check on my daily 43 points – roughly 1700 calories a day – first thing to go was the McDonalds breakfast. With each McMuffin weighing in at almost 600 calories, it meant I was consuming 1200 calories – almost the recommended daily allowance for a woman – in a single meal! Instead I started cooking tomatoes and mushrooms in the microwave and ate that for breakfast instead. I also swapped the greasy take away meals for healthy home cooked meals based around lean meat and veg. But still, I went to McDonald’s. ‘Your usual?’ they asked, about to plonk the muffin on a tray. But this time, I shook my head. ‘No, a cappuccino, please,’ I said. ‘With skimmed milk.’ That first week, I lost a staggering 12lb – just shy of a stone. It was the boost I needed to stick to it. After five weeks, I’d shed two stone. ‘I’m so proud of you,’ Alan said. He confided that he’s been really worried about my weight before. As the weeks went by, I lost more and more weight. I bought a pedometer to monitor my daily walks with the buggy and a second hand exercise bike from ebay which I spent 40 minutes a day cycling on at home. Still, I continued to pop into McDonald’s for my daily cappuccino. It was my little treat after my morning walk. ‘You’re looking great,’ one of the girls working there whispered as she handed me the steaming cup. I finally reached my target and slipped into a slinky size 12 at the start of the summer. Even Jenna noticed there was less of me; ‘Mummy you haven’t got a fat belly anymore,’ she announced one morning when I was getting dressed. ‘You’re normal.’ But I didn’t feel ‘normal’, I felt fantastic! To put it into perspective, Alan’s always weighed around 11 stone so to think that I’ve ditched carrying around a whole other person… well it’s no surprise that I feel so light now! I currently weigh 11 stone 12 – and I’d ideally like to lose another 7lb. But Alan, who’s been super-supportive throughout my weight loss journey, says he loves me just the way I am. As for the other love of my life, don’t get me wrong, I’d still love to eat a McMuffin but I really have ditched them for good – along with my muffin top! ENDS