FASHION fan Jenna Hurst always looked like she was enjoying her shopping trips with friends – until she got to the changing room.
At size 22 and weighing 17st 7lb, she would head into the privacy of the cubicle with an armful of outfits then just pretend to try them on.
Jenna knew there was never any chance they would fit and by the time she emerged, the clothes were often stained with her tears.
But it was fashion that saved her when she spotted her dream dress in a size 14 and vowed to slim down to fit into it.
Sales assistant Jenna, now 25, came across the nude embellished flapper-style frock online in 2013, but it was only available up to a size 14.
She signed up to the gym the following evening.
Within three years, the mum of one — who used to spend £100 a week on junk food — had lost 7st and even beaten her target of a size 14, dropping to a svelte size 12.
And after she ordered her dress in that size, Jenna, from Grimsby, Lincs, “felt like Cinderella”.
Jenna explains: “Those shopping trips with my friends had become my worst nightmare. They were all size sixes and eights and next to them I felt horrendous.
“I always pretended I was a couple of sizes smaller. I’d usually pick up an 18, knowing full well it wouldn’t fit me.
“That way I could at least pick up some clothes and take them into the changing room.
“However, I’d stand in front of the mirror in tears.
“After crying in the changing room for 20 minutes having not even attempted to try the clothes on, I’d then emerge pretending I didn’t like them.
“I loved fashion but I knew nothing would look nice on my huge frame, let alone fit me.
“Then one night, I was trawling through online boutique stores when I saw my dream dress.
“It was beautiful but the biggest size they did was a 14. I remember thinking to myself how crazy it was — I loved clothes, but all I could buy were boring, plain black tops. I’d had enough of it.
“I was determined that one day, I would buy that dress AND fit into it. It was time to change.”
Jenna was always the biggest girl in her group of friends growing up, and after becoming pregnant at 18 with her son Oliver, now seven, her weight ballooned.
She recalls: “When I was 13, I was already wearing size 14 clothes.
“At secondary school, my confidence was low but I soon got used to being the biggest person in my friendship group.
“I loved junk food and would often stop off at the shop on the way home from school to grab myself a sausage roll.
“After getting pregnant, I spent my maternity leave eating takeaways, biscuits and cakes.
“After that, my outfit choices were limited. I lived in baggy tops and leggings but I just couldn’t curb my huge appetite.
BREAKFAST: Toast and a bowl of cereal.
LUNCH: Sausage buns, cake, a pasty, chocolate and crisps.
DINNER: A large pizza with chips and coleslaw.
BREAKFAST: Green tea and fruit.
DINNER: Chicken and vegetables.
SNACKS: Fruit and low-calorie jellies.
“I’d have toast and cereal for breakfast, sausage buns, cake, a pasty, chocolate and crisps for lunch, then for dinner, a large pizza with chips and coleslaw.”
By the time she was 22, Jenna’s weight had hit 17st 7lb.
She says: “I was stuck in a rut. Rather than being spurred on to lose weight by not being able to fit into the clothes I liked, it just led me to comfort eat.
“I resorted to buying all my clothes online because I couldn’t stand trying items on in changing rooms.”
Determined, Jenna ditched her old lifestyle, along with the contents of her fridge.