A new mother who spent nearly £10,000 a year on takeaways lost seven stone after being warned by doctors she may not see her daughter grow up.
Lillie Monro, 24, from Halstead, Essex, had always struggled with her weight and was spending as much as £800 per month on fast food – often having takeaway burger for breakfast.
Weighing 19st 1lb after giving birth to her daughter Mila, Lillie pledged to change and swapped her takeouts for salads – going from a size 22-24 to a 10-12 in just one year.
The mother says that her food bills have halved, she no longer spends £150-200 a week on fast food, and she can climb the stairs and play with Mila without getting out of breath.
Lillie Monro, 24, from Halstead, Essex, went from a size 22-24 (left) to a 10-12 (right) in just one year after swapping takeaways for healthy home cooked meals
The mother pledged to change after being warned by doctors she may not see her daughter Mila (pictured at the age of two with her mother) grow up
‘I literally lost a whole person worth of weight’, said Lillie.
‘My GP told me I wouldn’t see my daughter grow up so I knew I had to make rapid changes. I don’t think I’d have been able to do it if she hadn’t said that and I didn’t have Mila.
‘I really enjoy just playing with her now: I wasn’t able to do that before. I didn’t do any exercise, just Slimming World.
‘I actually really enjoyed it. ‘I could still eat really big portions. I just changed the amounts of different foods so I was eating more of the right things and less of others, and cooked from scratch.
The mother says that after dropping from 19st 1lb (left) to 12st (right) food bills have halved no longer spends £150-200 a week on fast food, and she can climb the stairs and play with Mila without getting out of breath
Lillie (pictured after her seven stone weight loss), who says she has reclaimed her enjoyment of going out, eats only two courses instead of her previous three
‘At first I thought of it as a diet, but actually it’s a lifestyle change and that’s why it’s still working.’
Recently, Kerry Katona revealed that her family had lived on takeaways for six months in a chat ahead of new Channel 4 show Celebrity Trash Monsters: What’s Your Waste.
Comparing herself to the former popstar, Lillie said: ‘I lived on takeout like Kerry Katona and I was equally mortified when I realised this was the example I was setting for my child.
‘If I’d had to wear a suit made from our household rubbish like Kerry did, it would have been made of pizza boxes and burger packets – that would have felt so humiliating.
Lillie, pictured L-R after her seven stone weight loss, was too self-conscious to go out before she lost weight
‘It’s easy to feel shamed by your fast-food habits, like Kerry and I did, but actually fast food is very addictive and it’s everywhere: promising you an easy life.
‘It’s not good for you though, and cooking is really fun as well as so much better for you.’
As a teen Lillie weighed 17-stone she first joined a weight loss group aged 12 or 13. She tried other diets too, but always found she put the weight back on afterwards.
Lillie’s diet before and after her seven stone weight loss
Breakfast – Burger, bacon roll or chocolate
Lunch – Burger with fries
Dinner – Takeaway pizza
Snacks – Sweets and chocolate
Breakfast – None
Lunch – Salad or grilled shish
Dinner – Chinese or curry fakeaway
Lillie weighed 21st just before little Mila, now two, was born in February 2019, and 19st 1 shortly after.
The new mum was so uncomfortable about her weight she wouldn’t go out to the shops, or with her friends, and wouldn’t eat meals out, she said.
She went to her GP and was given medication for depression and anxiety, when Mila was three months old, in May 2019.
The female doctor told the mum her weight put her at risk of diabetes, heart failure, and other health risks, and she might not see her baby grow up, she said.
New-mum Lillie had feared losing little Mila when she was taken into neonatal intensive care with suspected sepsis just hours after being born and new she had to make a change.
‘You don’t expect your doctor to tell you you’re going to pop your clogs, but I’m so glad she did’, said Lillie.
‘That was my wake-up call. ‘When she said it, it reminded me of that fear of loss when Mila was in intensive care: it was so awful, really dreadful.
‘I went home from the GP and cried my eyes out then decided to make changes. ‘I knew I was big, I’d always eaten badly, but when she said it I looked and was surprised at how big I’d got.
‘I craved junk-food all the time: and you’re always hungry after eating it so you have more. ‘I don’t know how I afforded it.’
Lillie, who was too self-conscious to go out, researched weight loss groups and bought second-hand books online. She weighed herself weekly, sharing her journey, recipes and ideas with other slimmers on Instagram.
She got down to 12 stone in a year, and has maintained that weight ever since, she said.
Lillie used to enjoy tucking in to a few sharing bags of Haribo and a couple of family dairy-milk bars, while curled up in bed watching TV.
Lillie weighed 21st just before little Mila, now two, was born in February 2019, and 19st 1 shortly after (pictured left). Now the mum is a slender size 10 and weighs 12 stone (right)
She’d have junk-food treats like greasy pizza, or massive burger with fries, for lunch and/or dinner at least five days a week: costing between £150 and £200 she said.
She’d have cheese burger, a bacon butty or a big bar of chocolate for breakfast, but can’t stand fried food now, she said.
Lillie, who has reclaimed her enjoyment of going out, eats only two courses instead of her previous three. She loves a salad or a grilled shish.
Mostly Lillie likes to eat-in now: cooking her own favourites like curry or Chinese fake-away: spending around £50 to £60 a week. She said: ‘I’m just really really happy now.
‘Variety was so important: if you stick to the same stuff you get so bored of it. ‘Bothering to cook for myself was key. ‘I’ve been saving so much money towards a mortgage, but first I enjoyed buying new clothes.’