A woman has lost a staggering five-and-a-half stone after documenting her weight loss journey on Instagram and following diet and fitness accounts.
Ashleigh Munn, 24, has battled with her size all her life. She eventually reached 16 stone and struggled to walk due to the weight.
After she became reliant on crutches to get around because her hip and pelvis bones couldn’t take the pressure of her weight, she knew she had to change.
Now, she has shed to virtually half her former size – these days wearing size 8 clothes. She has said she used Instagram to inspire and document her weight loss along the way.
“I would see mums at playgroups running about but I was too embarrassed and aware of my size, and I’d get out of breath quickly,” said Munn of Greenock in Scotland.
“I didn’t want my little girl Mya, two, to grow up with her mum not running around, and eating rubbish. I wanted to be the best role model.
“Mya’s dad David and I can’t tell her to live a healthy lifestyle if we’re not.
“Now I’ve learnt how to cook, I go to the gym, I do yoga, I can run, and I go walking a lot with Mya and David, and I feel good in myself.”
After finding out she was expecting her first child, Munn admitted she used the pregnancy as an excuse to eat junk food.
She had to be on crutches for the last month of her pregnancy due to suffering from symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) – pelvic pain which she described as her hip bones and pelvis rubbing together because of the pressure from her weight.
By the time Mya was born in January 2014, Munn weighed 16 stone and was wearing a size 18.
However, it all caught up with her in November 2014, when she ended up at the The Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley with severe stomach pains that made her feel like she was going to faint.
Doctors found a melon-sized cyst on her left ovary after an ultrasound scan. She then had to have surgery to remove both the ovary and its attached fallopian tube.
Although there was no way of knowing why Munn had developed the cyst on her ovary, she believes her weight hadn’t helped matters.
Munn, an early education and childcare student at West College, Scotland, said: “It was terrifying. I was only 23 and had to have an operation to remove my ovary. I felt I was too young to experience this.
“I was not happy with myself. After my operation I thought, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.'”
Concerned about the state of her health and desperate to set a good example to her new baby, Munn finally sprung into action and began to lose weight in November 2014, after the operation.
In support, her partner David Barclay, 25, joined in the mission and dropped over three stone in six months, from 15st to 11st 7lbs.
In total, the couple have shed almost nine stone in just over a year, with Munn now weighing 10 stone 5lbs.
Speaking of how she transformed her body, Munn said: “I followed a fitness guru on Instagram who posts mini video clips teaching others how to cook healthily.
“I started tracking vegetarian recipe accounts, as they always looked so colourful, and soon turned vegetarian.
“David has recently turned vegetarian and he is joining the gym next week.
“Soon, I became obsessed with commenting on people’s amazing meals, asking how they had made them and trying all sorts out, and decided to make Instagram my food diary.”
For four months, from May 2015, Munn posted everything she ate as a way of making sure she didn’t have anything “bad,” and she said the pounds just kept falling off.
She recalled: “My confidence grew so much I began posting pictures of my figure at different stages of my weight loss.
“People would write really supportive comments.”
Now, the family endeavour to always eat healthy meals together, tucking into poached eggs, tomatoes, avocado and courgette spaghetti.
They have replaced beef with quorn and make homemade pizzas with tortilla wraps, making everything from scratch.
On her former unhealthy lifestyle, Munn said: “David and I would stuff ourselves with pre-packaged meals and fry-ups and Iceland was my ‘go-to’ shop.
“I’d buy toad-in-the-holes, frozen curries, chips, onion rings, sausage rolls, and pies – nothing good for you.
“There was never a vegetable in my diet, and the only thing I could cook was pasta.
“I couldn’t have done this without David’s support. We’re so much stronger and fitter now.”