Fitness + Well-being

Mom who was so heavy she couldn't read bedtime story to kids loses 124 pounds

Losing weight isn’t easy, but as anyone who’s tried to transform his or her body knows, having a sense of motivation can make all the difference for success.

In 30-year-old Hollie Barrett’s case, it was her children who inspired her to lose the 124 pounds she put on while coping with her mother's 2013 death from cancer. At her heaviest, Barrett was 249 pounds, PEOPLE reported.

“I felt like my weight was holding me back in every aspect of my life, especially when it came to doing things with my children,”
Barrett, of Suffolk, England, told PEOPLE. “I once chased my daughter Imogen up the stairs to bed and was so breathless I couldn’t speak properly to read her a bedtime story — it broke my heart.”

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Barrett isn’t alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. While the condition can impact people’s mental and emotional well-being, it also can leave individuals at a greater risk of life-threatening ailments like cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

For Barrett, the ultimate motivation to lose weight came when she read a friend’s Facebook post about a weight loss program called Slimming World, a U.K.-based weight loss management program. Thanks to the program’s nutritional plan, Barrett has dropped down to a healthy weight of 125 pounds.

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Now, the mom isn’t winded anymore, PEOPLE reported. Her healthier lifestyle has allowed her to enjoy outdoor activities like mountain climbing, swimming and jogging. She has even competed in a 5K charity run.

“Now I finally feel like the person — and the mom — I was meant to be all along,” she told PEOPLE.

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Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today's top celebrities and newsmakers.  You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.