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  1. ITV Report

Woman who weighed 21 stone lost half her body weight after booking row of seats on plane

Rachel Ayers developed such a high level of anxiety about her weight she once bought a row of seats on a plane to avoid sitting next to anyone.

Rachel, now 45, weighed more than 21 stone after years of yo-yo dieting, and feared sitting next to a stranger on a plane, worrying that she might spill over to the next seat.

So when the chance of a break to Corfu came along a couple of years ago, Rachel booked a row of three seats for the trip.

She said she would eat more than 6,000 calories a day - three times the recommended daily amount for a woman.

At her heaviest Rachel weighed more than 21 stone

The embarrassment was one of a number of catalysts which led her to change her lifestyle - losing 10st 6lbs and plummeting to a size 12.

A further shock came when her father, who was also overweight and suffering from type two diabetes, had to have an eye operation and lost 20% of his eyesight.

Rachel, of Yspitty Road, Bynea in Carmarthenshire, said: "It was like a shock. He was 69, and I thought 'what am I going to be like in 20 years' time?'"

Rachel started monitoring her portion size and learned about nutrition and healthy foods after she joined the Cambridge Weight Plan in her local village.

She said her previous self suffered from low self-esteem and a total lack of understanding of portion control.

She said: "I was not the person I wanted to be.

"I had the outside of low self-esteem and food was the plaster. I had to keep eating the food to cope.

"Unless your mind is right you will never be right. That's the problem I had to sort.

"Food was like drugs or alcohol."

Now, weighing in at a svelte 10st 8lbs, Rachel claims her whole attitude to food has changed.

She said: "I feel great. I don't feel 'I can't have that'.

"My partner calls me a robot. I didn't deviate around anything. I didn't go off plan at all."

Rachel no longer has a fear about going on holiday. She's going to Seville in January and plans to have two short breaks and two holidays each year.