BETHANY PRITCHARD is finally proud to post selfies online – after shedding ten stone in just 11 months.
The 19-year-old had piled on 5st in the space of a year, thanks to a carb-filled diet and huge portions, taking her to 20st and a size 22.
But when she tested out her new selfie stick on holiday in Greece, her body in a bikini filled her with horror.
Bethany says: “I’d resigned myself to being overweight but when I saw that picture, I couldn’t believe it was me.
“I was huge. I cringed at the sight of my body.”
Once home, Bethany vowed to change her lifestyle — and her unhealthy diet.
In less than a year, she slimmed down to ten stone and a size ten.
She says: “It was tough going at first but once I got the hang of my new diet, I refused to quit.
“Now I want to show everyone that if I can do it, anyone can.”
In 2014, aged 16, Bethany weighed 15st, was a size 16, suffered from anxiety and turned to food for comfort. She quit college, left her part-time waitressing job and stopped seeing her friends.
She says: “I’d spend my days gorging on carb-heavy food to make myself feel better.”
Bethany would skip breakfast, have a cheese sandwich, crisps and a chocolate bar for lunch, then a big portion of pasta with ready-made sauce for dinner, followed by an evening of snacking on crisps and more chocolate bars.
She says: “I’d wash all my meals down with Lucozade too.”
Bethany was racking up around 3,500 calories a day — nearly double the recommended amount for women.
By June 2015, aged 18, she weighed 20st and wore a size 20.
Bethany, from Bexleyheath, Kent, says: “I’d thought stuffing my face would make me feel better but in reality it made me feel horrendous.”
The turning point came during a Greek holiday in July that year.
Back home, she started looking for a diet plan that would work long-term and in November 2015 found Juice Plus, which combines shakes with healthy meals.
For breakfast she had vanilla shakes, then rice cakes and chicken salads for lunch and sweet potato and meat for dinner.
Instead of chocolate and crisps she had yoghurt, and she swapped fizzy drinks for water.
Bethany says: “Everyone expected me to fall off the wagon but I stuck to the plan.
“I lost three stone in two months which kept me motivated. I felt a million times better too, and realised comfort-eating was never the answer.”
Bethany started uploading pictures online and got a great response.
She says: “I knew the photos would keep me on track.
Loads of people asked what my secret was and I got a real kick out of sharing advice.”
LUNCH: Two cheese sandwiches, crisps, chocolate.
DINNER: Big bowl of cheesy pasta.
SNACKS: Bag of crisps and chocolate.
By March 2016 Bethany weighed 13st 7lb and started swimming, walking and weight training.
She says: “I felt incredible. I was getting out more and reconnecting with friends because I felt so much happier in myself.”
By July, Bethany had hit her goal weight of ten stone and fitted into a svelte size ten.
That month, a year on from the bikini selfie, she booked a holiday in Morocco.
BREAKFAST: Porridge topped with banana.
LUNCH: Hummus with carrots and cucumber, grapes and natural yoghurt.
DINNER: Chicken breast with sweet potato and veg.
She says: “I felt amazing in a bikini and took loads of pictures — and this time I didn’t feel sick when I looked back at them.”
Bethany is now keen to inspire other women to lose weight.
She says: “Nobody should feel like they have to hide their body.
“I want to feel great in every shot I post — and remind other women that they should too.”