An obese mother who refused to be seen with her daughters for TEN YEARS to protect them from cruel jibes about her size can now proudly go out in public with them – after shedding 14 stone.
Lisa Copeland, 46, saw her weight balloon to a whopping 23 and a half stone after the birth of her first girl Victoria.
She gorged on whole packs of biscuits, tucked into five Yorkshire puds at a time and went to get takeaways five nights a week as well as cooking for her family.
She shrugged off personal taunts but was heartbroken when Victoria came home in tears from school at the age of 13 to say SHE was being bullied because of her mum.
Lisa, married to accountant Rob, 50, vowed to slim – but decided to do so in the privacy of her home to spare her girls more embarrassment.
She embarked on a ten-year battle with the bulge and for five years of it denied herself many of the joys of motherhood.
She missed out on many things as Victoria and her younger sisters Rebecca and Abigail grew up like shopping, playing in the park and collecting them from parties.
But her secret battle saw her drop a whopping 20 dress sizes from a 28 to a sleek size eight and she is now a trim NINE stone.
Her slimming success has seen her being appointed a Weight Watchers leader as a model to others.
And Lisa is now finally venturing from her home in Hornchurch, Essex to enjoy shopping trips with her girls Victoria, 25, Rebecca, 22, and Abigail, 15.
Lisa said: “I was absolutely devastated that my child was being bullied because of me.
“I couldn’t believe how unhappy she saw – and I was mortified that it was all my fault.
“It felt like I was bullying my own child and I thought if I don’t nip this in the bud now then my other children might be bullied too.
“I got up the next day and changed my life. I got up and made sure I knew what my diet was going to be.”
She added: “It meant I didn’t have anything to do with my children for about five years.
“I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want people to know I was Rob’s wife, I didn’t want people to laugh at my children.
“It was easier not to go out as a family and Victoria actually has no memory of going out as a family.
“As I lost more weight I became more confident, but it has taken me this long to finally get over the hurt I caused my children.”
Lisa, a former gymnastics coach, said she found herself trapped in a vicious cycle of comfort eating as her growing weight shattered her confidence.
She also began suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) over the state of her house.
The highlight of her day was tucking into cake instead of outdoors playing with her daughters.
As her weight grew she was also developed physical symptoms including breathlessness, lethargy and painful sores.
Lisa signed up to Weight Watchers in 2002 and started swimming three times a week – although not with her children.
In the first eight years she lost more than 11 stone and gradually started to feel better about her appearance.
She has now lost an extra three stones and is finally happy with her weight – after more than 25 years.
Daughter Victoria, a marketing executive from London, said: “I can’t remember spending much time with my mum. I was quite an active child and she was never really there.
“When it was a sports day or parents evening at school you would always see friends with both their parents there.
“For me it was normal to have an overweight mum but looking back I do wish she’d been there so I had some fond memories.”
She added: “It’s amazing to have her back. What she has done is fantastic.
“We all love being able to finally go out together as a family.”