How 21-stone mother with ‘body blindness’ shed half her weight after shame of failing to ride bike with son

A 21st stone woman suffering from ‘body blindness’ like Dawn French shed almost half her body weight after a shock revelation brought her to her senses.

While Georgina Crook, from Burton, Staffs., had always been overweight, she was never bullied at school, never heard a cruel comment in passing and enjoyed a loving relationship with her husband.

She had always been popular with her friends and, while she admits clothes shopping was a 'nightmare', her ever-increasing weight not once posed a problem.

Georgina Crook


Georgina Crook, left, now a size 12, was 21st and suffered from 'body blindness', being unaware of her weight problem

Georgina Crook at her largest suffering from the 'body blindness'

When her eight-year-old son Daniel, pictured, begged her to join him on a bike ride, Georgina, too big to fit on the seat, says she woke up to how overweight she was

But when her eight-year-old son Daniel begged her to join her on a bike ride after receiving a cycle for Christmas, Georgina had a sudden wake-up call.

Georgina Crook

The 29-year-old lost 10st on a diet of three healthy meals a day, swimming and going to the gym. She now saves 120 a week on food bills after banning takeaways

At 21st, the mother-of-three was simply
too big to physically fit on a bicycle seat and she knew then that she
needed to do something about her size.

Georgina, 29, was so terrified of the thought of neighbours laughing at her if she fell off that she went on a drastic diet, shedding a massive 10 stone in less than a year.

Once a size 26, Georgina is now a slim size 12 and can ride with Daniel whenever she likes.

She said: 'Because I had always been big throughout school, it never embarrassed me.

had always known me as a big girl and I was lucky that I had always
been very popular at school where people knew me as the loud one.

mum occasionally said I needed to do something about my weight but it
never seemed important to me. I was doing what I wanted to do, I had
friends and I was quite happy.'

admits to suffering from ‘body blindness’ – something that comedienne
Dawn French spoke about in an interview in 2009 before losing nearly
eight stone last year.

the interview with Woman’s Weekly, Dawn, then a size 20, said: 'I can
honestly say that it doesn’t bother me, though I do worry that I’ll get
so comfortably fat that I won’t be able to walk any more.

'Sometimes I’ll get out of bed and think, “Oooh, I need to do some exercise” – but that’s probably about once a year, if that.

'I think the medical term for my
condition is called “body blindness”. I may ultimately regret not
looking after myself more, and plenty of people would line up to tell me
that, but it doesn’t concern me.'

said she can relate to Dawn’s pre-weight loss predicament. Having never
been bothered about her weight, dieting was low down on her list of

Georgina Crook

Georgina, pictured on her wedding day to Richard, was never concerned about her weight, despite the doctor telling her she had high blood pressure

She said: 'My
doctor had told me that I could do with losing a bit of weight but he
never made it sound too important. I had a few issues with my blood
pressure but it didn’t seem significant.

relationship with my husband had always been great – he found me
attractive no matter how big I was – so I didn’t have to worry about

'No one ever made a
negative comment about my weight and if they did, I never heard them. I
had convinced myself that it wasn’t a problem.

Georgina Crook

Georgina Crook

Georgina ballooned to 21 stone in 2010 after the birth of her third child, eating nothing during for breakfast and then binging on biscuits, takeaways and chips

 Dawn French

Comedienne Dawn French spoke of suffering from 'body blindness' in 2009 before losing nearly
eight stone last year

'Looking back, I think I knew on some
level that something wasn’t right with my size, I never wanted to have
my photo taken and I used to hide behind other people whenever the
camera came out.

'Clothes shopping was a nightmare – I bought all my clothes in Evans while my friends shopped in the more fashionable stores.

we took the kids to the theme park I would always hold back on getting
on some of the smaller rides, so subconsciously I knew there was a
chance I might not fit or be turned away.

although I tried to teach my children about healthy eating and the
importance of staying active, I was aware I wasn’t setting the best

ballooned to 21 stone in 2010 after the birth of her third child, but in
January last year she pinned a photo of herself in a size-26 outfit on
the cookie cupboard and she is now just 11st 8lbs.

The turning point came when she gave
her son Daniel a bike for Christmas in 2011 and realised her size was,
for the first time ever, starting to hold her back.

She said: 'It was the first time that it dawned on me that I was a bit big.

'Daniel wanted me to go riding with
him but my bum was simply too big to fit on the saddle. I just could not
face the humiliation of going out on a bike because of what I’d look
like and the thought of people laughing at me.

'I wouldn’t have been able stand the curtain twitching of people waiting for me to fall off and give them a laugh.

boy was desperate for me to ride a bike but I would shy away from it. I
couldn’t bear the shame if I had fallen off or just what I looked like.

'Daniel always looked so disappointed when I had to say ‘no, just play in the garden’.

'I just thought I want my kids to have a mum that can run around with them. I knew then that I needed to be active and I thought, “I’ve got to do something about this”.'

Before the weight loss, Georgina never ate breakfast and a regularly binged on a high fat diet of takeaways and chips.

She said: 'I used to eat whatever fell out of the fridge. I would never eat breakfast, it would just be crisps or biscuits in the morning.

'Then once the kids were in bed I would have a takeaway or just something quick out of the chip pan.

'But I’ve changed my diet from not eating at all during the day and having all the wrong things to three healthy meals a day.

'After the first three or four months on the new diet, I started to lose some weight.

'I then took up swimming and visiting the gym once a week and it’s just dropped off me since then.'

Georgina now plans entire activity weekends away for her family with husband Richard, 38, and sons Daniel, Lewis, four and Stephen, one.

She is still losing weight and no longer has to care what others think about her size.

She estimates the family saves around 120 a month on their food bill after banning takeaway meals from the menu.

She said: 'Luckily I had the support of my family, friends and people at Slimming World to help me.

'I now feel so much better for doing it and it has let me do so much more with my children.

'We cycle anything up to 10 miles when we go out and have great fun. It’s such a relief to be back in better shape.

'I can run around with my kids, chase after them and most importantly, enjoy to the full the best years of their lives.'