Reality TV star Maria Fowler says her new body blitz was inspired by a cruel comment from a male pal. Seeing the rolls of fat around her lower abdomen as she worked out at the gym, he asked her: "Are you pregnant?"
Horrified Maria told her mate that she very definitely wasn't expecting and he should mind 'his bl***y business.' Former TOWIE favourite Maria, 28, said: "I can laugh about it now but at the time I was really upset.
When I put on weight it all goes on around my lower abdomen and muffin tops and it looks really unsightly when I am wearing lycra in the gym. "On a bad day I have got more muffin tops than a cake shop! "He'd clearly caught me on a bad day and innocently asked me if I was pregnant, expecting me to announce the happy news! "Nothing could be further from the truth - I just had a 'bit of a gut' on me at the moment, as they say from where I am from." Maria had been in great shape before she went on holiday twice in the last month. First, she ended up piling on the pounds by bingeing on lots calorie-busting cocktails while away with pals in Dubai. Then she compounded the damage by scoffing lots of fast food on a break in New York.
The star put on a gut-busting 16lb in a little more than a month and is now desperate to get back into shape. These pictures show what great shape she was in just before she went away and in the early stages of her holiday - and how she let herself go after that.
She was also pictured in the park in her first post-holiday work-out. She said: "Holidays are a disaster zone for me - I really let myself go. "I dread that visit to the scales when you get back from a break because it is always bad news for me. "I was horrified when I got back from New York and I was 16lb heavier. The hard work starts here. "I always know when I need to lose weight from the comments about my selfies on Twitter. "There have been some pretty hurtful jibes. One troll just said, 'How are you, lardy?,' which isn't the nicest greeting I have ever had.
"And there have been lots of women bitchily saying that I'm looking a bit fatter. "The fact is I have to live my life under so much scrutiny and if you pig out for few weeks everyone notices and a few nasty trolls hammer the point by being cruel on Twitter." Maria has now signed up for a six-week body blitz with Britain's leading diet firm Forza Supplements.
She currently weighs 10st 8lb and has been set a target of losing 22lb in six weeks - getting down to her ideal weight of 9st. She hopes to get of her 'gut' too so that no one will ever think she is pregnant again unless she really is expecting. Maria is working out four times a week with Forza trainers and taking its new product, Multivitamin for Dieters, which makes sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs when you are on a low-fat diet and really fighting the flab.
Maria said: "I've got six weeks of hell ahead of me. I'm going to be cutting no corners and sticking to a very simple high protein diet. There will be no treats and certainly none of my favourite cheese and onion crisps." Maria had four-and-a-half litres of fat sucked out her body during a £12,000 liposuction procedure two years ago on her tummy and upper thighs.
She had let herself get out of shape and wanted a 'quick fix' to put things right. Since then, her weight has been more stable and she fluctuates between 11-st at her heaviest and 9-st when she is at her bikini body best. She said: "I don't regret the liposuction - it was the right thing to do at that time in my life. But now I like to control my weight through exercise and health eating.
"I am quitting red meat and doing pretty intense work-outs four times a week with the team from Forza. "I'd seen how Marnie Simpson from Geordie Shore had used Multivitamin for Dieters when she lots some weight quickly over the New Year and decided to give it a try. It is high in iron, which will help given I'm off the red meat, but also contains all the nutrients you body needs when you are really ripping it at the gym. Lots of zinc, calciums and vitamins B and D. It means your hair and skin continue to look fabulous while you are doing some intense exercise and your body is adjusting to a new refuelling regime."