At her lowest point, Emma McCullough was so depressed about her weight that she didn’t want to go on.
Although only in her late teens, the Donaghcloney girl spent most of the time in her bedroom comfort eating.
But at the weekend, Emma stepped onto the stage of Birmingham ICC in front of hundreds of people as one of Slimming World’s greatest success stories.
Emma (25), who has lost almost 14 stone in three years, was one of 10 slimmers from across the UK, and the only one from Northern Ireland, to make it through to the finals.
And she and her Slimming World consultant, Lynsey Mulholland from the Lurgan Links group, were greeted on stage by none other than TV personality Peter Andre in what they described as an “unbelievable night”.
Weight-wise, Emma may be a shadow of her former self, having slimmed down from 24 stone, but confidence-wise, she is riding high, having become a voluntary youth worker and finding love in the form of boyfriend Dale.
One of the spurs for Emma to lose weight was her nephew Lucas. Having been bullied at school because of her weight, she didn’t want him to be taunted for having a ‘fat aunt’.
Now with another nephew Harry, she has “two reasons to stay slim and healthy”.
She said, “I feel I have a future now. I never thought I would get this far but I had a lot of support from people who believed in me. My mum Noreen has been a rock.”