'Get off that horse - you're too fat' - the insult that drove mum to shed half her size

'Get off that horse - you're too fat' - the insult that drove woman to shed half her size

'Get off that horse - you're too fat' - the insult that drove woman to shed half her size

First published in News
Last updated
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A SOUTHAMPTON woman is half the size she used to be and has a new lease of life after losing six stone to avoid being confined to a wheelchair.

José Barker went from 15 stone 11lbs and a size 24 clothes to a svelte size 10-12 in less than a year.

“I knew I was big, but I didn’t think I was that big,” says the 39-year-old.

“I have a degenerative knee condition for which there is no cure. My specialist told me it was just a matter of time as to when I would be in a wheelchair. The bigger I am, the more strain on my knees and the quicker that time would come – and I am not ready for that just yet.

“I also had weight induced asthma, so I knew I had to do something.”

As a single mum-of-three with a dog and a horse, José has always been active, but her health was starting to become more of a concern.

“My knees were beginning to hurt all the time. As a carer, I was on my feet all day anyway, and if I walked the dog then the following day I could hardly move.

But the push I needed came just before Christmas, 2012.

Daily Echo:

“I was in the New Forest riding my horse when a car pulled alongside me and slowed down. A man wound down the window and shouted ‘get off you are too fat for that’.

“I cried all the way home.

I don’t understand why he said it – I can understand why he thought it, but not why he said it. My horse is a weight carrier. She didn’t struggle with me at all, but I did look a bit of a wide load on her.”

José joined Slimming World in January 2013, after seeing adverts for a new group and the photographs of the consultant, Krystal Paterson’s journey with her weight loss.

“I was amazed by the transformation. Although the group was not local to me, it had to be that group. It had to be Krystal, and she inspired me. My journey began with her,” she says.

“I lost six-and-a-half pounds in my first week. The food plan was easy, but overcoming the mindset of comfort eating when upset or bored has been very difficult. I have had a few gains along the way, when my willpower has not been strong enough. But, it is important not to let the small gains allow you to blow it completely.

“For the first few months I couldn’t see the weight loss myself, so I kept taking pictures and comparing them to keep me motivated.”

On her return from an annual holiday to Crete with her mother, José realised just how far she had come when she returned to the Winchester Road group.

“I was away for ten days and still managed to lose more than half a stone by staying on plan. The week I got back, I was voted my group’s Woman of the Year.

Amazingly, at that point I fitted in one leg of the shorts I had worn on my holiday the year before!”

Daily Echo:

Since starting her journey, José’s weight has dropped to 9 stone 13lb, her health has improved, she has a new career and is enjoying life more than ever before.

“My life is different now,” she says.

“I haven’t needed my inhalers for more than six months and my specialist has said that I have bought years, if not decades, of not needing a wheelchair and hopefully in that time, medical science may evolve so that I may never need one.

“Now, I don’t just walk with the dog but we can go for a run, just a mile or so, but I no longer have to worry about being able to walk the next day.

“I am smaller now than before I had my children. My whole family have been amazing, and really supportive, as they always are. I am not sure I could have done this without them.

“I can’t believe I put off losing weight for all those years. It was daunting because I thought it would take forever. I am chuffed to bits that it has only taken a year to turn my life around.”

Comments (22)

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7:56am Tue 25 Mar 14

Ozmosis says...

Fabulous result in a year - just proves that it can be done. Keep motivated and the weight will stay off :-)
Fabulous result in a year - just proves that it can be done. Keep motivated and the weight will stay off :-) Ozmosis
  • Score: 37

7:58am Tue 25 Mar 14

bry2013 says...

amazing you should be very proud of yourself
amazing you should be very proud of yourself bry2013
  • Score: 35

8:10am Tue 25 Mar 14

Huey says...

bry2013 wrote:
amazing you should be very proud of yourself
Yes indeed well done
[quote][p][bold]bry2013[/bold] wrote: amazing you should be very proud of yourself[/p][/quote]Yes indeed well done Huey
  • Score: 27

8:38am Tue 25 Mar 14

hollie3pups says...

Wow, well done Jose!!! I too lost weight on the Slimming World plan (2 stone 9 and a half pounds) and feel fabulous...keep it up, you look amazing!! x
Wow, well done Jose!!! I too lost weight on the Slimming World plan (2 stone 9 and a half pounds) and feel fabulous...keep it up, you look amazing!! x hollie3pups
  • Score: 18

8:45am Tue 25 Mar 14

SwedeSaint says...

Brilliant, another advert for Slimming world. Someone in the editorial team have relatives there.....
Brilliant, another advert for Slimming world. Someone in the editorial team have relatives there..... SwedeSaint
  • Score: -21

8:51am Tue 25 Mar 14

townieboy says...

Buy a shire horse.
Buy a shire horse. townieboy
  • Score: -15

8:53am Tue 25 Mar 14

sarfhamton says...

Inspiring story and goes to show what can be done with some will power and some support.
Inspiring story and goes to show what can be done with some will power and some support. sarfhamton
  • Score: 19

10:11am Tue 25 Mar 14

Brite Spark says...

Well done her great effort - and a lesson to all people who choose to be fat and then claim disability benefits.
Well done her great effort - and a lesson to all people who choose to be fat and then claim disability benefits. Brite Spark
  • Score: -2

10:30am Tue 25 Mar 14

Mckinkle says...

Very well done Jose, enjoy your success and good luck with the maintenance. Shame Brite Spark chose to show their ignorance but you cant argue with stupid!
Very well done Jose, enjoy your success and good luck with the maintenance. Shame Brite Spark chose to show their ignorance but you cant argue with stupid! Mckinkle
  • Score: 10

10:38am Tue 25 Mar 14

Brite Spark says...

That IS a shire horse !!!!!
That IS a shire horse !!!!! Brite Spark
  • Score: -13

10:39am Tue 25 Mar 14

SOLENTDRIFTER says...

I BET THE HORSE IS OVER THE MOON......
I BET THE HORSE IS OVER THE MOON...... SOLENTDRIFTER
  • Score: 16

11:25am Tue 25 Mar 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

You should reign in with these jokes, she shouldn't be saddled with bad humour, it's not a bit funny.
You should reign in with these jokes, she shouldn't be saddled with bad humour, it's not a bit funny. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 4

11:39am Tue 25 Mar 14

Franks Tank says...

An obnoxious motorist in the New Forest?
Now there's a surprise.

Well done you José, looking fab.
An obnoxious motorist in the New Forest? Now there's a surprise. Well done you José, looking fab. Franks Tank
  • Score: 8

12:07pm Tue 25 Mar 14

ToastyTea says...

LOL at A man wound down the window and shouted ‘get off you are too fat for that’.
LOL at A man wound down the window and shouted ‘get off you are too fat for that’. ToastyTea
  • Score: -9

1:39pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Mary80 says...

What a horrible vile man to shout an insult at a total stranger. I'd have told him to eff off and mind his own business
What a horrible vile man to shout an insult at a total stranger. I'd have told him to eff off and mind his own business Mary80
  • Score: -1

2:02pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Brite Spark says...

You mean Eff Orf ha ha
You mean Eff Orf ha ha Brite Spark
  • Score: -3

2:19pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Smartiepants says...

SwedeSaint wrote:
Brilliant, another advert for Slimming world. Someone in the editorial team have relatives there.....
Ah right, you don't notice the Weight Watchers adverts in the paper then or is it a case of selective reading?
[quote][p][bold]SwedeSaint[/bold] wrote: Brilliant, another advert for Slimming world. Someone in the editorial team have relatives there.....[/p][/quote]Ah right, you don't notice the Weight Watchers adverts in the paper then or is it a case of selective reading? Smartiepants
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Tue 25 Mar 14

SwedeSaint says...

Smartiepants wrote:
SwedeSaint wrote:
Brilliant, another advert for Slimming world. Someone in the editorial team have relatives there.....
Ah right, you don't notice the Weight Watchers adverts in the paper then or is it a case of selective reading?
Advert or story? When you can tell the difference come back...
[quote][p][bold]Smartiepants[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SwedeSaint[/bold] wrote: Brilliant, another advert for Slimming world. Someone in the editorial team have relatives there.....[/p][/quote]Ah right, you don't notice the Weight Watchers adverts in the paper then or is it a case of selective reading?[/p][/quote]Advert or story? When you can tell the difference come back... SwedeSaint
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Bob Barnes says...

Excellent José, well done let this be a lesson to others, forget all the other stories just think of your success, anyway most of them are married to big fat ladies unlike the new you
Excellent José, well done let this be a lesson to others, forget all the other stories just think of your success, anyway most of them are married to big fat ladies unlike the new you Bob Barnes
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Bob Barnes says...

townieboy wrote:
Buy a shire horse.
GIT
[quote][p][bold]townieboy[/bold] wrote: Buy a shire horse.[/p][/quote]GIT Bob Barnes
  • Score: 3

6:29pm Tue 25 Mar 14

IronLady2010 says...

What a remarkable lady, well done to her.

It was worth all that effort as look how stunning you are now.

Hope you give inspiration to others who are unable to fight the fat.

Well done, again!
What a remarkable lady, well done to her. It was worth all that effort as look how stunning you are now. Hope you give inspiration to others who are unable to fight the fat. Well done, again! IronLady2010
  • Score: 6

9:56pm Wed 26 Mar 14

southamptonadi says...

Mary80 wrote:
What a horrible vile man to shout an insult at a total stranger. I'd have told him to eff off and mind his own business
You say vile. And yes it's not nice but actually that man should be her hero, did you not read how it's changed her life,

But yes I know what your saying the next person might top themselves etc. but she has turned it into such a positive and now I bet she's added years to her life as we'll and those years will be so much better than they would of been before.
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: What a horrible vile man to shout an insult at a total stranger. I'd have told him to eff off and mind his own business[/p][/quote]You say vile. And yes it's not nice but actually that man should be her hero, did you not read how it's changed her life, But yes I know what your saying the next person might top themselves etc. but she has turned it into such a positive and now I bet she's added years to her life as we'll and those years will be so much better than they would of been before. southamptonadi
  • Score: 2

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