A woman who was left feeling "traumatised" by unflattering photos from her work Christmas party has halved her dress size after overhauling her diet.
Karen Beebee, 54, from Burscough, Lancashire, had seen her size creep up over the years, weighing 15st 12oz at her heaviest.
The mum-of-two would often go a whole day at work without eating before coming home and consuming up to 4,000 calories in one sitting.
Feeling uncomfortable about her size 24 frame, she was inspired to do something about her weight after shying away from the camera at a festive bash.
Vowing to stick to a strict New Year diet plan, Beebee decided to ditch the takeaways and quickly shed six stone in just six months.
The following year she quit her NHS job to become a diet coach so she could help others make the same dramatic transformation.
"Over the years I had got married and had children and the weight crept on bit by bit," Beebee explains.
"I knew I was big but it's hard to find motivation when you feel so bad about yourself."
Beebee recalls how uncomfortable she felt at the Christmas party that inspired her to change her lifestyle.
"I remember I had to squeeze into the dress I wore at that Christmas party and I could barely breathe - I didn't even want to go," she says.
"Everyone at the party was saying 'let's take photos!' and I hated it. I was traumatised when I saw the photos but it was what made me realise I needed to change."
Beebee worked in the NHS for 25 years, first as a nurse and then in a high pressure managerial position, which she believes contributed to her bad eating habits.
She would be too busy to eat all day before consuming a vast number of calories, usually takeaways and fast food, in one go when she got home.
Beebee believes having her two sons, Oliver, now 25, and Dominic, now 23, with husband Richard Beebee, 52, may also have contributed to her weight gain.
By December 2008 she weighed 15st 12oz and wore a size 24, but she says the way she looked lead to her dreading her work Christmas party.
"I was trying to squeeze into this huge dress, Spanx everywhere, and I could hardly get it on - I remember asking my husband 'why am I even doing this?'
"I felt miserable."
Beebee said she felt "traumatised" after seeing the photos from the event and made it her New Year's resolution to lose weight.
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So in January 2009 she enrolled on a personalised plan called the 1:1 Diet, following the strict plan of meal replacements and low-calorie meal alternatives to the letter and swapping healthy alternatives for her previous late-night, fast food binges.
By June that year she had lost 6st, bringing her down to just 9st 12oz and a trim size 12.
As well as helping to improve her physical health, the weight loss also had an impact on her mental wellbeing.
"I used to hate getting up in the morning - my knees would ache horribly," Beebee explains.
"But I found my mood improved straight away and I had so much more energy, I knew I'd never go back."
Beebee now eats around 1,500 calories per day but says she doesn't follow a particular diet and just focuses on eating three healthy meals a day.
She has also cut down her alcohol intake after previously drinking "a couple of glasses every evening" - and takes her two energetic labradors for walks twice a day to keep active.
Her new lifestyle means Beebee says she's never felt better.
"I feel so much more confident and happier now," she says.
"I used to get an invitation to a wedding and decline because I knew I wouldn't fit into a dress.
"Now if I ever get an invite, I'm so excited to get shopping for something nice to wear.
"And I don't shy away from the camera, but actually like having my picture taken!"
Additional reporting SWNS.