Overweight mum determined to make up for lost time with her family drops 17st to win slimming award

Kim Freshwater, 45, who skipped her son's school awards ceremony out of fear she'd break the chairs sheds 17 stone to be crowned Slimming World's Woman of the Year

A mother-of-three who lost more than half her bodyweight to be named Slimming World's Woman of the Year 2013 has revealed she's detemined to make up for lost time with her family.

Kim Freshwater, 45, shed 17 stone to be named Slimming World's Slimmer of the Year 2013 [PA]
Kim Freshwater, 45, weighed almost 29 stone (184kg) and wore size 38 dresses before losing 17st 5lb (110.2kg) in less than three years to a trim size 10.

She revealed it was missing her son's school awards ceremony out of fear she'd break the foldaway chairs that caused her to turn her life around after being severely overweight for nearly four decades.

Kim, from Havant in Hampshire, said "there's so much she wants to do" since losing the weight.

"Before I lost weight I had to walk with sticks and I couldn't fit in the seats at the cinema or on rides like rollercoasters," she admitted.

"I once broke a chair at my friend's house, which was mortifying, and I even slept on the floor when we went away because I was so scared the bed wouldn't be able to take my weight.

"I've missed so many wonderful moments with my family and I can never get those back, but now I'm determined to make up for lost time and there's so much I want to do."

The mother-of-three decided to lose the weight after skipping her son's school awards ceremony out of fear she'd …
Mrs Freshwater joined Slimming World in March 2011 and now weighs 11st 7lb (73kg).

She explained that it was her father's death that led her to turn to comfort food, with any diets she tried not lasting.

"My dad had always been my best friend and I suppose I used food to fill the hole he left," she said.

"As I got older, people would always say how pretty I'd be if I lost weight and I did try, but the diets I did were only ever quick fixes - I'd regain all the weight I lost as soon as I stopped."

Her weight caused a string of health problems, including high blood pressure, breathing problems, back and knee pain. Her GP referred her to the local Slimming World group.

And nowadays her eating habits have been transformed, as she swapped one big meal a day for three healthy home-made meals and snacks.

Kim said she actually eats more than she did when she was overweight, but her choices of food have changed dramatically.

"I actually eat more now than I did before but I've learned to make good choices," she said.

"The plan isn't a diet, we all eat together as a family and we have lots of our old favourite meals, just adjusted so they're cooked in a healthier way."