After losing both her job and childhood home within days of each other, 26-year-old Shannon Palmer turned to takeout food and soda to cope with the “deep depression” that ensued.
“All of my childhood disappeared with the fire. I had nothing after that. My mum nearly died in the fire and I was made redundant at work the next day — after working there for four years,” Palmer told South West News Service (SWNS), a British news agency, noting both events occurred in 2017.
“I was bullied a lot at school — so for me, eating was a coping mechanism. Food was my refuge,” she added, noting her drink of choice was the carbonated soft drink Irn-Bru.
Shannon Palmer before (R) and after (L) weight loss.
Within months, Palmer said she jumped from a size 12 to a size 24, weighing some 238 pounds.
“I ate five or six takeaways each week and drank 10 Irn-Brus. I was eating through my depression but I just wanted to be happy,” she said. “Some people have drugs, drink, gambling — I had food.”
Shannon Palmer prior to her weight loss.
Following a beach trip in September 2018 — during which Palmer said she felt “disgusted” with herself — she was introduced to the U.K.-based weight-loss organization Slimming World. In addition to changing her eating habits — which included chips, chocolate, burgers and muffins — she also switched to sugar-free Irn-Brus in an attempt to reduce her sugar intake.
“I wouldn’t have managed to keep up with the diet if I had to stop drinking Irn-Bru completely, which is why switching to sugar-free has been so helpful,” she told SWNS. “You can’t expect people to stop enjoying something they love — it’s about moderation.”
Shannon Palmer credits her weight loss to switching to sugar-free soda and healthier food options.
Palmer claims she’s lost roughly 77 pounds since changing her diet.
“I don’t go to the gym and I don’t really exercise, I just eat healthily with the occasional cheat day,” she said. “I still eat the occasional takeaway and eat chocolates and crisps, but I know when to stop.”
She added: “I feel like I respect myself a lot more now, it’s important to take care of yourself. I’m the person I always wanted to be.”