My 5-packet-a-day crisp addiction saw me balloon to 27 stone – I was so big I couldn't get off the chair | The Sun

HAYLEY McCrossan, 38, a pupil support assistant, lives in Kirkcaldy, Fife, with her husband Michael, 45, a hospital porter.

Here Hayley tells her story and how she shed 15st by kicking her 10-packet-a-day crisp habit.

“Tipping the crumbs of my 10th packet of crisps into my mouth and washing it down with a can of pop, I felt overwhelmed with guilt.

I knew I was dangerously overweight, but I just couldn’t help myself.

After being prescribed steroids 10 years earlier, I’d ballooned from 12st and a size 14, to 27st and size 28.

At 5ft 2in, my BMI was 67, making me seriously obese.



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I was so big, I was almost unable to get off my chair, but my cravings always got the better of me.

Growing up, I’d never had any issues with my weight, hovering around a size 14.

At 17, I met Michael, and we married in October 2010.

But months later, I started experiencing nausea and chest pains.

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After countless trips to my GP, and subsequent referrals to hospital, I was told I had vasculitis, a life-threatening autoimmune condition that causes poor blood flow to organ tissues.

The doctor said it couldn’t be cured, but it could be managed with immune-suppressant medication and steroids, which would likely result in me putting on some weight – but I felt so terrible I didn’t care.

After a few months off work, my symptoms had improved, but I constantly craved sugar and carbs, and ate up to 10 packets of crisps a day, washed down with five cans of fizzy drinks.

Soon I was addicted to both.

Over the years, my weight gain accelerated. I tried diets, but I had no control over my hunger.

I asked my doctor if I could come off the steroids, but at that point, there was no other option to control my vasculitis, and I felt I had no energy to slim down with exercise.

By 2015, I weighed 20st, and my bad eating habits had become ingrained.

I was so big, I struggled to work and felt constantly exhausted.

I also had to avoid public transport, because I couldn’t fit in the seats, and I could only buy elasticated size-28 clothes online.

Crippled by shame, I avoided looking at my reflection in shop windows and mirrors, and turned down invites from friends and family to meet up, leaving me feeling isolated.

If the vasculitis didn’t kill me, my weight would.

Finally, in June 2021, the doctor adjusted my other medication to the point where they said I could come off the steroids. I felt like I’d been set free from a cage.

I was determined to lose weight, but knew I needed something drastic.

I researched online and came across the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.

I found a local mentor and signed up.

That October, I went from consuming more than 3,000 calories a day to four meal-replacement products, totalling just 800 calories.

I also swapped fizzy drinks for water.

It wasn’t easy, but in a week I’d lost 10lb, and after two months I’d lost 3st.

Eventually, I re-introduced regular meals, eating porridge for breakfast, soup for lunch and chicken or fish with salad for dinner, as well as having two litres of water a day.

I also started to walk longer distances.

By Christmas 2022, I’d lost a total of 10st.

Michael and the children at the school where I worked couldn’t believe the transformation, and I felt like I was in control of my life for the first time in years.

In January this year, I joined a gym for the first time ever.

I started going on the cardio machines for a few minutes, increasing it a little each time I went.

I was still pretty big and got some stares, but I was too focused to worry what anyone else thought.

I soon became a regular, going almost every day, and people began asking my story.

When I showed them photos of me before, they couldn’t believe how different I looked.

When I saw old friends, they no longer recognised me.

Now I do weights, cardio and classes.

I’m 15st lighter, weighing 11st 8lb and a dress size 14.

My BMI is 29 and I no longer feel out of breath – I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.

I do, however, have loose skin where I’ve lost so much weight, but I’m hoping to have it removed when I can afford it.

Still, it’s amazing being able to wear clothes from high-street stores, and I’m enjoying my new wardrobe of lovely dresses.

I’ve kept one massive black hoodie, which I put on sometimes to remind myself what I’ve achieved.

But I’ll never go back to weighing 27st, no matter what the future holds.”



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26% of adults in England are currently obese.

In a survey, 45% of women agreed with the statement: “Most of the time I’m trying to lose weight.”

  • Sources: *NHS **Kantar’s National Health and Wellness Surve

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