By Rafaela Kuznec @Rafaela Kuznec
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Videographer / director: Marcus Hessenberg
Producer: Rafaela Kuznec, Nathalie Bonney, Ruby Coote
Editor: Alex Lubetkin
Ruby Altoft, from Hull, UK, started her weight loss journey six months ago.
The mum-of-one had been struggling with her weight issues since she was a teenager.
She told Barcroft TV: “I was a healthy child.
“I was average weight through primary school and junior school.
“And then I started having food issues.
“When I went into secondary school I would starve myself but I got better and gained weight again.
“When I was about 21 I put on a lot of weight and became really obese.”
Ruby said: “After leaving university, I felt like I had no direction and nothing to concentrate on anymore.
“And that's when I became really depressed and anxious and had a breakdown.
“I gained about four or five stones in four months.”
The weight gain contributed to Ruby’s anxiety and caused further mental health issues: “The fact that I had gained so much weight made me feel worse.
“I was totally unable to deal with not only the trauma experienced but then the weight gain as well.”
Speaking of her eating habits back then, Ruby said: “I was having probably more food for a family than for a single person.
“And I was eating all the wrong foods as well.
“I was ordering takeaways nearly every night.”
She continued: “I've always felt like I was unable to control food - I was eating impulsively or starving myself.
“I was either bingeing or starving, and that's been from a really young age.
“There were a few people that called me fat which made me feel like rubbish, but it didn't stop me from gaining more weight.
“It just pushed me further away from other people.
“I didn't want to see anyone, I didn't want to speak to anyone.
“I didn't want my family to talk to me.
“I just wanted to be on my own all of the time.
“I even felt self-conscious about my daughter cuddling me.
“I didn't want her to touch me.
“And that was hard, that wasn't good.”
Ruby’s dad, Martin Wilson, told Barcroft TV: “Before Ruby lost her weight she was very reclusive.
“She’d keep herself to herself and avoid any form of contact with anyone and just keep herself away.”
He added: “Her weight loss has just totally transformed her character.
“She's now bubbly, lively, laughing and joking.”
Ruby said that giving up smoking has actually helped her to lose weight.
Fearing to gain more weight, Ruby started counting calories and stuck to a recommended daily calorie intake.
She said: “I was told to be careful because you can gain quite a lot of weight quite quickly if you stop smoking.
“So I just decided to keep track of what I was eating and try and lose a little bit of weight as well.
“I downloaded the app just to keep a track of what I was going to eat.
“And then the weight just fell off.”
Since then Ruby has lost an incredible 84lbs stone in just 6 months, dropping from 210lbs to 126lbs.
Describing her healthy eating plan, she said: “I write a month's worth meal plan so I find it really easy to keep track of what I should be eating.
“And because I know what I'm having for my evening meal, I can calculate the calories before I have it.”
“My relationship with food is a lot better.
“I’m more in control of what I eat: I feel like instead of binging and starving, I am making sure that I'm eating regularly.
“I'm more educated now - it's not just about what I'm eating, but it's how I cook and prepare food.”
“I think the reason that this time I've been able to lose a significant amount of weight is because I've done it for myself - I'm in control of it.
“I'm not going there to please someone else.
“I just make sure all that I’m eating within my allocated daily calories.
“And because healthier foods like fruits and veggies and proteins have fewer calories I tend to eat more of those, but I still I still eat chocolate and crisps and things like that too.”
The young woman admitted that she still suffers from anxiety, which caused her weight gain in the first place, but now, since she lost so much weight, Ruby feels more confident in getting professional help.
Ruby said: “I went to therapy and I got some professional help with my mental health.
“I think losing the weight has made me realise that I can go and do things to improve my mental health, not just my physical health.
“That's been the biggest improvement, that's the thing I'm most happy about.
“Losing the weight has enabled me to actually deal with some of the stuff that I had going on long before I put the weight on.
“My Instagram has really helped with that as well.
“I get messages every day from men and women, saying ‘you're doing so well, how have you done it?’
“When I get encouragement and I get messages from other people, and it really helps me knowing that I'm helping other people too.
“I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
“I've just gone through my own journey and helping other people along the way.
“I would just say do what you want to do, not what you think you should be doing.
“I sat in weight loss groups for years, and hardly lost any weight.
“And if I did, I put it all back on.
“Do something that is going to be a change forever - a lifestyle change.”