Widow who only ate takeaways sheds ten stone so her children won’t be orphans

A widow who only ate takeaways every day has dropped nearly half her body weight after fearing her unhealthy eating habits would see her children become orphans.

Cheryl Godden, 44, ballooned to 21 stone following the deaths of her dad Mick and husband Carl to cancer.

The pair died just nine months apart which added to Cheryl's grief, BirminghamLive reported .

The mum-of-two says she barely left the house and stuffed herself with takeaways in order to cope with her loss.

It wasn't until she saw a photo of herself on Facebook that she realised she needed to change her ways.

Cheryl decided to join Slimming World and replaced her daily McDonald's and Greggs with homemade meals.

Nearly two years later she has now lost nine stone and seven dress sizes and is a healthy and active mum to son Charlie, seven, and her 19-year-old daughter Chloe.

Cheryl, from Brentwood, Essex, now a svelte size 12, said: "After Carl was gone my whole world fell apart.

"I lost my hunger for life and I just completely devastated.

"I was staying in all the time and just eating anything easy.

"It was a good six months of not cooking anything on the hob.

"I'd always be cooking Carl his favourite Sunday roast every weekend.

"But after he was gone I couldn't face it anymore.

"I just suddenly found myself a single mum and I just didn't know how to cope.

"It wasn't until my daughter begged for a bit of pasta that we all ate a homemade meal.

"But when I saw the photos of myself I realised just how unhealthy I was and then realised if I kept going the way I was, my kids wouldn't have a mum.

"The way I was going I was eating myself into an early grave.

"Losing the weight is an incredible feeling.

"I just want other people to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"It's not just your weight that changes but your take on life."

Cheryl was devastated when she lost her dad Mick to lung cancer in 2014.

It got worse when she was dealt another devastating blow when husband of six years Carl, 46, was told he had bowel cancer in February 2015.

On Boxing Day 2015 the family were told Carl's cancer was terminal and he died two weeks later in January 2016.

Cheryl, said: "I was already in a dark place.

"It was the first parent I’d lost, and my best friend I was a real daddy’s girl.

"I couldn't have got over the grief of losing dad without Carl supporting me.

"So much so that when Carl died I had no idea how I’d get through without him to help me.

"When Carl was in hospital having chemo I didn't want to leave his side.

"So I was going to Costa every single day, having three full-fat lattes everyday and a couple of toasted sandwiches.

"Then I'd go home and bung something in the oven.

"I was just existing at that point."

Cheryl saw her weight balloon from 15 to 21 and a half stone, while she become a social recluse.

"I didn't have any get up and go," she said.

"I'd always order a takeaway for the kids as I didn't have the energy or motivation to cook.

"The ease of getting a takeaway just masked the grief.

"It would be a pick me up.

"I just thought my life was rubbish but at least this cake tasted good.

"I think I was keeping Rowntree's in business.

"I'd happily eat two £1 bags of fruit gums or fruit pastilles in one sitting.

"I'd only leave the house if it were the school run.

"I packed a lot of weight but not a lot of direction.

"But when I saw the photo of myself, I was mortified at how big I had become!

"Obviously living off a diet of fast food I knew I wasn't the healthiest, but something just dropped."

She decided to jet off to Australia in December 2016 after refusing to do Christmas at home without Carl.

But during the three week holiday Cheryl found herself constantly out of breath.

An unflatttering holiday snap spotted on Facebook prompted her to take drastic action regarding her health.

She said: "I had a year of sitting around in my tracksuit bottoms.

"It was on that holiday that realised I wasn't in the best shape.

"We were there for three weeks and I missed out on so much.

"My kids could climb to the top of the hill and take a nice photo but I was stuck at the bottom struggling to breathe.

"When we were back in the UK I was just scrolling through my Facebook and saw that horrid picture of me.

"I was fed up of being a size 24.

"As soon as I saw it I was just shocked – there's no other word for it.

"I was devastated and removed the tag and begged my niece to remove it from Facebook."

She joined Slimming World and lost four stone in three months – losing a total of nine stone in 20 months.

Cheryl, who now runs her own slimming group, added: "The biggest change was eating freshly prepared food.

"I feel so much better in myself.

"I don't have my knee or back pain anymore.

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