Teacher shamed into losing nine stone after pupils mock her figure calling her 'upside down king prawn'
Claire Mills heard a pupil compare her to a king prawn because he'd 'keep the head but throw away the body'
The comment prompted the mum-of-one to drop from 18-and-a-half stone to ten stone and a dress size 26 to ten
11:25 GMT, 15 October 2012
A cruel comment from a school boy over her weight has prompted a teacher to lose almost nine stone.
Claire Mills, 31, was mortified when she
overheard students poking fun at her size, with one pupil calling her an 'upside down king prawn' because he'd 'keep the head but throw away the body.'
'Hearing that comment broke my heart, but it gave me the motivation I needed to shift the flab,' said Claire, from Llandrindod, Powys.
Who's laughing now Claire Mills lost nearly nine stone after hearing school children mocking her size
The mum-of-one was a size 26 and tipped the scales at almost 18 and a half stone at her heaviest. But after cutting out comfort food
and taking up jogging, she has shed almost nine
stone – and now weighs just over 10 stone.
She said: 'I was always one of the bigger children in school, and as I got older, I became very conscious of my size. I was so much bigger than all my friends, but I never had the motivation to do anything to change the way I looked.
'I got upset about it, so I'd stay in at night, sitting on the sofa, eating comfort food.'
Claire said her weight then crept up further after she married husband, Darren and had a daughter, Jessica.
Mummy's shrunk: Claire's daughter Jessica shows how her mum no longer fits into her old size 26 jeans
Baggy trousers: The mother can now fit both her legs into the trouser leg that used to fit one after she slimmed down through healthy eating and exercise
'When I met Darren, a farmer, and got
married, I was so happy, I couldn't believe that someone would want me
to be their wife – so I didn't worry about losing weight then either,' she explained. 'And when I fell pregnant in 2008, I took that as licence to eat whatever I liked.
'I was so unhappy with myself when
Jessica was born though, I refused to have my photo taken with her – I
really regret that I only have a handful of snaps of us together when
she was a baby.'
The teacher also found her size was affecting her work. Part of her job as a Duke of Edinburgh Development Officer involved
accompanying groups of young people on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. But
she couldn't keep up with her pupils on the outdoor treks and had to
completely rule out fun activities like canoeing.
'King prawn': A pupil said he would 'keep the head but throw away the body' when Claire looked like this, prompting her to lose weight
She said: 'I love my job, being outdoors with the
children, and I wouldn't change it for the world – but I was so big I
couldn't do it properly.
'My job also involves a lot of driving
round the country to different sites, so I'd always have plenty of
sweets and sandwiches in the car for when I got bored.'
was on one of these trips that Claire heard some children mocking her
figure and that finally gave her the push she needed to lose weight.
'One day I overheard a group of
boys talking about me. They didn't know I was there, and they were
laughing about how fat I was,' she recalled.
'One of them said: “Her face is alright,
but you wouldn't want the body. She's like an upside down prawn – keep
the head, chuck away the rest.”
'I pretended I hadn't heard, and carried
on as normal, but when I got home I broke down in floods of tears. I
realised I had to do something about my weight for the sake of my
health, my family and my pride.'
A rare picture of Claire with Jessica when she was younger: The mother avoided cameras at the time because she was ashamed of her size
Claire signed up with the Cambridge Weight Loss plan which restricts dieters to eating only soups and shakes for a set period
'The first week of sticking to the plan
was really tough – but I soon realised that once I stopped thinking
about what I was going to have for tea every night, and obsessing about
food, it didn't matter that much,' she said.
New wardrobe needed: The teacher once tipped the scales at almost 18-and-a-half stone but is now a size ten
'Once it was time for me to reintroduce
healthy cooked meals back into my diet, food wasn't such a big issue for
me, and I'd lost so much weight, I wasn't going to spoil it by eating
takeaways every night.'
As the pounds fell off, Claire then took up running and two years after being spurred into action, she is now
thrilled to be able to slip into a size 10 dress.
Health kick: Claire said she hasn't been happier since losing weight as she can now be a more active wife and mother to husband Darren and daughter Jessica
She said she couldn't be happier with her new figure.
'It wasn't long before people at work started to notice the difference in me, and I was soon the talk of the village.
'My little girl looks at pictures of me
now from a few years ago and doesn't recognise me. It's wonderful to be
able to do so much with her now.
She added: 'My husband, Darren, has been so supportive of me – he'd love me no matter what I look like, but he's pleased there is a bit more room for him in the bed now!
'I feel so much better for being fitter and healthier – losing weight is the best thing I've ever done.'