Mother, 31, loses eight stone and six dress sizes in just one year after her bulk grounded a Ferris wheel at the local fair
Claire Hughes piled on weight after having a hysterectomy
Cruel locals called her 'Nessa after the plus-size Gavin & Stacey character
Mother-of-two shrank six dress sizes after taking up boxing as a hobby
She is now full time boxing coach helping other women to get fit
16:11 GMT, 2 October 2012
A mother-of-two was shamed into losing eight stone after she was forced to get off a Ferris wheel –
because she was too fat for it to go round.
Claire Hughes was left mortified
after rider operators told her she was too heavy for the Ferris wheel to
operate on a family day out.
The 31-year-old from Maypole in Birmingham was so embarrassed that it forced her to change her unhealthy
lifestyle and lose almost eight stone.
Claire Hughes was shamed in to losing eight stone after a fairground Ferris wheel she was riding ground to a halt because of her XXL size
Previously Claire's large frame had
been the subject of taunts in the street as people would call her 'Nessa,
after Ruth Jones’s larger than life character from comedy series Gavin
But after taking up boxing, the Rocky-style work outs helped Claire get fighting fit and shed six dress sizes.
who is now a full time boxing coach said of the day that changed her
life: 'The ride started to make a really weird creaking nose and as it
got half way up it just wouldn’t go any further.
'They had to bring it all the way back down and the guy controlling it told me I was going to have to get off.
'I didn’t know what to say to him, so I just tried to laugh it off, but I was mortified.'
Claire ballooned to a size 26 dress, tipping
the scales at 23 stone after tragedy struck four years ago.
The 31-year-old tried to laugh it off but was so embarrassed that she decided to change her unhealthy lifestyle
The humiliating incident left Claire determined to change her unhealthy lifestyle
She said: 'I had been diagnosed with
endometriosis, polycystic ovaries and had been told I had pre-cancerous
cells on my cervix after a routine smear.
was left with no choice but to have a hysterectomy. In some ways it was
a relief as I was always in so much pain, but obviously it was
'After the operation I
became so depressed that I just ate as much as I could. I didn’t do any
exercise because the operation left me unable to move for quite a while.
'I turned to food and just found myself getting bigger and bigger.
'People would call me all sorts of names – they said I looked like Nessa from Gavin and Stacey. It was awful.
'I tried loads of diets including Atkins and Dukan, but I knew they were just quick fixes.'
After the day at the fair, Claire realised she needed to do something about her body.
'Everyone was laughing away at me, and I tried to join in, but deep down I was mortified.
never realised how big I was until then. I knew I wasn’t really skinny,
but I didn’t realise how much bigger I was. It was horrible.'
Claire pictured on a different ride the same day that she got stuck on the Ferris wheel in Birmingham
The day at the fair struck a chord
with the pretty brunette, but it wasn’t until a personal trainer friend
of Claire’s suggested she take up boxing that the weight really started
'My friend gave me the number to a boxing gym and told me to go down.' said Claire.
'I was really apprehensive, and I’d never normally go to a gym, but this one was different.
'It’s all one to one and a great way to get your anger out!
'I found myself going more and more, and before I knew it I’d lost the weight, and now I’m even teaching classes there.
'It’ is pretty hard to please my coach, but I think even he’s impressed.'
Claire is now enjoying a new lease of life with her children.
Claire is now a full-time boxing coach and runs classes at the same gym that she used to kick start her new fitness routine
'They never said it when I was big, but my daughter always goes on about how I couldn’t do certain things when I had a ‘fat tummy’.
'I don’t think I realised it at the time but it was just as bad for the kids as it was for me. We’ve all got a more balanced diet now, and they see me eating healthy foods and exercising.
'I feel a million times better than I ever remember feeling. My friends use my old clothes as their maternity outfits now!'
Claire hopes her boxing classes will inspire others to fight the flab too.
'The day at the fairground was so embarrassing, I want to make sure that nobody feels how I did a year ago.
'If you work for it, you can do it. You’ve just got to believe in yourself.'
The mother-of-two is now enjoing a new lease of life with her children and wants to inspire other women to get fit too