The 18-stone victim of an armed robbery decided to lose weight – when a masked raider called her a “fat cow”.
British woman Josie Barnes said being ridiculed by the robber was more traumatic than being tied up and a gun held to her head.
She decided to slim down – and has now lost 7st 2lb in the last three years.
Josie, 29, now weighs 10st 2lb and has dropped from a size 24 to a 10, in time for next summer’s wedding to her Turkish fiance, Fatih.
She said: “Getting a gun pointed at your head will leave anyone emotionally scarred. But on top of that, I couldn’t get the robber’s word out of my head. Despite the ordeal, it encouraged me to change my life for the better.”
Josie’s ordeal began in 2006, when she went to collect her sister from a Harvester restaurant in Brentwood, Essex, where they both worked.
Balaclava-clad men with guns came up behind them and told them they would be shot if they didn’t stop screaming.
The robbers tied them up and made them get down on the ground while they raided the restaurant, fleeing with £1000.
Josie said: “It was terrifying. I thought they were going to kill me. As I lay on the ground I felt helpless and humiliated as the raider ridiculed me.”
She was too terrified to go back to work and suffered flashbacks. She slept with a light on for a year and her confidence was crushed.
Josie said: “At school people would call me Lardy or Fatty and shout nasty things. When the robber called me fat that night, it just brought all those horrible memories back.”
She piled on the pounds comfort eating but took action by going to WeightWatchers.
By cutting out snacks, drinking water and swapping vegetables for garlic bread, Josie started to slim down.
She said: “I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved, and I love seeing people’s reaction when they see me.
“Now I can look forward to the future, rather than dwelling on the past.”
-With dailyrecord.co.uk input