A woman who was so fat she could barely walk is running the London Marathon – after losing HALF her weight.
Judi Heykoop ballooned to a huge 27 stone and size 32 through a teenage addiction to food which saw her scoffing 4,000 calories a day.
Every day she gorged on five bowls of cereal for breakfast, pizza and chips for lunch and a huge meal for dinner.
She would also snack on up to ten donuts a day – plus whatever else she could get her hands on.
She was at her biggest by the age of 24 when doctors warned her life expectancy was 54 unless she did something drastic about her weight.
Judi, now 28, tried a series of diets and saw a hypnotist but without success and as a last resort her GP eventually offered her a gastric bypass on the NHS.
The £10,000 op meant part of her digestive system would be permanently removed so she would only absorb around 50 per cent of the calories she ate.
She had the bypass in 2009 and has been on the road to fitness ever since.
For six weeks after the op Judi, who is 5’11”, lived off baby food as she could only eat liquidised meals.
But the pounds started to fall off and in the first four months alone she lost five stone and was down to size 20 clothes.
As she lost weight she felt less sluggish and decided to start exercising and in 2010 joined the British Military Fitness group whose instructors are serving or former members of the armed forces.
They keep Judi in shape with gruelling outdoor exercise classes and she dropped another two stone in a few months and also acquired a passion for running.
She now jogs three times a week, has joined a mountaineering club and has lost over 13.5 stone to slim down to a size 14-16, tipping the scales at 13st 7lbs.
Judi has already completed a couple of half-marathons and on Sunday faces her biggest test yet with the full event – setting herself a target time of under five hours.
She will be cheered on by her family, friends and boyfriend as she raises money for mental health charity MIND.
Judi, a management consultant from London, said: “I couldn’t be happier.
“When I look at old photos of me I feel ashamed that I let myself get so big – I really had an addiction to food.
“I was eating a massive amount of carbs and would buy boxes of donuts and give my friends a couple and eat the other 10 myself.
“I was struggling to walk and tried everything to lose weight but nothing worked until the bypass.
“My friends and family never thought I’d run anywhere, let alone complete a marathon and I’m determined to reach the finish line.”