A singer who was told she was too fat to make a music video has told how her ordeal provided the motivation she needed to lose weight.
Poppy Hughes, 22, from Liverpool, tipped the scales at 14 stone 8 lbs at her heaviest, but she has since shifted five stone and three dress sizes.
The professional singer, who also works as a paediatric nurse, said she had always been able to eat what she wanted as a child – but this ‘carefree’ approach to portion control came back to haunt her when she hit her teens.
Poppy Hughes tipped the scales at 14 stone 8 lbs at her heaviest (left), but she has since shifted five stone and three dress sizes (right) after finally mastering portion control
It wasn’t uncommon for her to polish off multiple packets of biscuits in one sitting and before long her body was unable to keep the weight off.
‘I would eat one biscuit or sweet and had the mindset of “well I’ve already ruined my diet now, I may as well carry on and eat the rest”‘ Poppy explained.
‘I would then go on to eat absolute rubbish for the rest of the day.’
Poppy now describes herself back then as a ‘diet-starts-on-Monday’ kind of girl; if she treated herself on a Friday, she would continue eating ‘rubbish’ through until Sunday night.
Poppy managed to convince her best friend to join the gym with her soon after, and the pair soon found it easier to motivate each other and work out together
By the summer of 2015, Poppy weighed 14 stone 8 lbs and was a size 16 (left); but she is now a svelte size 10 and weighs just 9 stone 8 lbs after swapping sugary snacks for fruit and yoghurt
But while Poppy doesn’t believe her weight has held her back in life, one incident is permanently etched into her memory.
‘I always remember being asked to record a song,’ she recalled. ‘The producer said to me that if it was going to go to video, I needed to lose weight.’
His words struck a nerve with Poppy: ‘I obviously wasn’t happy with the way I looked – I used to cry in the mirror every day and cry to my mum.
‘But it didn’t matter how many people told me I needed to lose weight, until it clicked with me.’
As she had always allowed herself to eat whatever she wanted, Poppy struggled with portion sizes – and admits to having a ‘weakness’ for bread.
Poppy before losing weight. She recalled: ‘I obviously wasn’t happy with the way I looked – I used to cry in the mirror every day and cry to my mum’
The 22-year-old works as a professional singer as well as a paediatric nurse. She recalls a music producer urging her to lose weight in order to take part in a music video
‘It didn’t matter how many people told me I needed to lose weight, until it clicked with me’: Poppy before (left) and after her weight loss (right) in pictures posted to her Instagram
It wasn’t uncommon for her to get through two slices of breakfast, a sandwich, crisps and chocolate for lunch, and then head to her local fish and chip shop for dinner – happily snacking in between meals.
By the summer of 2015, Poppy weighed 14 stone 8 lbs and was a size 16. Eventually realising enough was enough, she tentatively joined her local gym, Xercise4Less.
Poppy managed to convince her best friend to join the gym with her soon after, and the pair found it easier to motivate each other and work out together.
‘Instead of us going for tea or staying in and watch films and eating, we now spend most of our time together in the gym,’ Poppy said. ‘I have a lot to thank her for.’
Poppy has cut out unhealthy sugary snacks in favour of natural yoghurt and rice cakes. She does allow herself one ‘cheat day’ a week, however, when she can eat what she wants
‘It’s difficult to see what everyone else sees’: Poppy is still struggling to be comfortable in her own skin after spending so many years feeling unhappy with her appearance
Nowadays, the 22-year-old’s diet is healthier than ever – cutting out the unhealthy sugary snacks in favour of natural yoghurt and fruit and rice cakes. She does allow herself one ‘cheat day’ a week, however, when she can eat what she wants.
Poppy now weighs 9 stone 8 lbs and is a size 10, having lost a total of five stone since February.
‘My next goal is to tone up and become happy in my own skin because this is something I still struggle with, probably from being so unhappy with the way I looked for so long,’ Poppy admitted.
‘It’s difficult to see what everyone else sees. But that is coming with time.’
POPPY’S DIET THEN
Breakfast: Two or three pieces of toast
Snacks: Crisps / more toast / biscuits
Lunch: Sandwich, crisps, diet coke and a chocolate bar
Dinner: Would always eat out – Chinese or chippy or a microwave ready meal
Drinks: Pepsi Max, Mochas with cream
…AND WHAT SHE EATS NOW
Breakfast: Bowl of Bran Flakes
Lunch: Chicken and rice with veg or a gluten free pitta bread with low fat hummus or cottage cheese
Dinner: Chicken, rice and lots of veg
Snacks: Occasional protein bar
Drinks: Only water and coffee.