Bedford woman who had food cruelly thrown at her in the street loses a staggering 18 STONE

"I used to order Chinese food, but lie and say I had friends round as I ordered so much"

By Clare Turner
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 12:15 pm

A woman who was abused in the street - even having food thrown at her - has lost an impressive 18 stone.

Harriet Peacock, of Bedford, rarely cooked - and would overindulge in just about everything including crisps and loaves of bread and cakes.

She said: “I used to order Chinese food, but lie and say I had friends round as I ordered so much, when really I was ordering it all for myself."

Harriet Peacock before and after she lost 18 stone

Weighing in at an incredible 33 stone, it was severely life limiting for the 46-year-old.

She said: “I couldn’t walk more than a few steps, or even stand for more than a few moments without needing to sit down, I couldn’t drive as I didn’t fit behind a car steering wheel.

But more heartbreaking though was people's cruelty towards her.

"I also suffered with terrible anxiety because people have been so abusive, if I went out people would shout horrible things, and even throw food at me."

Harriet at a friend's wedding

Harriet's life turned around when she joined the Bedford Slimming World classes in Putnoe - and she lost a staggering 18 stone, going from size 34 to a 16.

"The biggest thing I first discovered when I joined the group was that I was in control of everything.

"Most notably I was in control of my personal achievement target, no pressure or expectations were given to me of being a certain weight or size.

“I wasn’t told what to eat or not eat. I was given the choice of hundreds of delicious, healthy free foods, and the power to choose each day what I wanted to eat and drink. I also had the ability to really satisfy my appetite on this freedom of free foods, so I didn’t have to go hungry.”

Harriet out with a friend after losing weight

It was a far cry from the help - or lack of - she received from her GP.

Harriet said: "I had an awful time at my GP surgery whilst living in York, as when I finally summoned the enormous courage to ask for help, the doctor just looked me up and down then told me to eat less and exercise more.

"I just felt judged, dehumanised and totally discounted, it felt like no-one wanted to help me."

Before joining the classes here in Putnoe, Harriet rarely cooked.

Harriet Peacock

“Joining Slimming World challenged me to start cooking more, I now love cooking so much. Some of my favourite meals are baked feta pasta, salmon fillets with pitta bread and salad,

curries, and even a homemade dirty burger with wedges.”

A new study out today (Thursday) from the University of Lincoln - called Longitudinal Investigation into Mental Toughness, Weight Loss, and Eating Behaviours - found Slimming World members didn’t just lose weight more successfully, they also significantly improved their mental toughness.

And that's certainly been the case for Harriet.

She said: “As someone with anxiety, the pandemic would be a real opportunity to revert to my old ways, but I had built up such a commitment, mostly to myself and to my goals, but also to my group.

"I have gone from a size 34 to a 16, and from just living in oversized leggings to being able to shop anywhere I want to. I even got a sparkly sequin dress for Christmas and heels that I have always wanted.

Harriet now

"Slimming World saved my life, changed my life and I just can’t thank my group enough.”


3 packets of supermarket sandwiches with crisps and chocolate bars as a meal

A tear and share cinnamon roll

Takeaway pizza, fish and chips

Crumpets with butter and honey


Baked oats or porridge for breakfast with fruit OR

Lean bacon medallions, mushrooms, tomatoes and eggs for breakfast

Cajun salmon salad with a pitta bread OR

Jacket and cheese for lunch

Moroccan lamb stuffed butternut squash OR

Baked feta pasta OR

Sweet and sour chicken

The Putnoe group meets at Bedford Athletic Rugby Club in Wentworth Drive, Friday mornings at 9.30am with Rayner.

No booking is required, you can just turn up.

But if you want to discuss anything with Rayner prior to attending, you can call her on 07951 418090.