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16 August 2010, 18:43
A student who dropped seven dress sizes and lost almost half her body weight won a slimming award
About to start university aged 19, Kelly Meager tipped the scales at 23-and-a-half stone and suffered from dangerously high blood pressure and high cholesterol - conditions typically associated with people three times her age.
But now aged 21, Ms Meager is a svelte size 12 and was named Slimming World's Young Slimmer of the Year 2010 after shedding 10st 9lbs.
She said: ``I was at my heaviest when I went to university. I weighed 23-and-a-half stone, wore a size 26 and had dangerously high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
``You're supposed to have the time of your life at uni but I just hid in my room and lived off takeaways. I didn't feel 19. I felt old, overweight and unhealthy.''
Ms Meager, who is studying fine art at the University for Creative Arts, Canterbury, decided to shed the weight after seeing pictures from a night out with fellow students.
``When I saw the pictures the next day on Facebook I was horrified - I looked huge. I started refusing offers to go out and my room became my prison,'' she said.
After attending a Slimming World group in Canterbury, Ms Meager started losing weight quickly - shedding six-and-a-half pounds in her first week.
She quit her diet of takeaways and started cooking stir fry dishes and pasta meals. She also joined a gym and began cycling.
She added: ``It's the best feeling when you put on a pair of trousers and they're loose with inches of space around you.
``If someone had told me 21 months ago that I'd be 10-and-a-half stone lighter I'd never have believed them. I feel like a totally new person.
``I finally feel young. I'm loving life for the first time ever and have probably added years to my life too, so I want to make the most it.''