Coca-Cola addict Donna Gunner has confessed she drank 30 cans a day for 20 years.
Donna, 51, reckons her 70 litres a week habit – enough to fill a bath – has cost her £50,000 since she got hooked.
And the former benefit fraud investigator’s health suffered as she guzzled 1kg of sugar and 4,170 calories a day in full-fat Coke – double the 2,000 recommended by the NHS.
The 5ft 2ins divorcee ballooned to 14st 7lb and a size 22 and was diagnosed with type two diabetes.
Donna said: “I was totally addicted. When I tried to come off it I literally went cold turkey.
“I got the shakes, headaches and cravings, like a druggy, but I knew I needed to change.
The 5ft 2ins divorcee ballooned to 14st 7lb and a size 22 (Image: PA Real Life)
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“I had no idea I had a problem, but I’d wake up a couple of times in the night and crack a can open, craving the sugar and caffeine.
“Looking back, I feel disgusted at how much money I wasted and what I did to my body.”
Donna, of Woolavington, Somerset, admits that from the moment she woke, Coca-Cola was the first thing on her mind.
She said: “I’d have a can as soon as I opened my eyes, another two before I even left for work, another one on the drive in and then another with breakfast at my desk.
“I kept massive boxes under my desk and would give in every hour or so. I’d buy Coca-Cola in multipacks at £7 a go during the week.”
After her weight ballooned, the mum-of-four started going to the gym but was given an embarrassing wake-up call.
She said: “The exercise machines just switched off when I put my hands on the blood pressure tester.
“I asked the instructor what was wrong with the treadmill, but he said it was my blood pressure.
After her weight ballooned, the mum-of-four started going to the gym but was given an embarrassing wake-up call (Image: PA Real Life)
“I was so embarrassed and really realised I needed to do something about it.”
Initially swapping full-fat for Diet Coke, Donna finally gave up Coke entirely.
“I got really bad migraines, had the shakes and felt really ill. I was like an addict coming off drugs,” she said.
She also started jogging but didn’t lose any weight.
Her GP at Somerset’s Polden Medical Practice, Dr Peter Foley, suggested she tried a low carb diet called the Low Carb Program which is specifically designed for type 2 diabetics.
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Even though she was allowed a a full fry-up for breakfast her weight plummeted and she went from a size 20 to a 10.
She jogs for three miles every day and has completed the Bridgewater and Exeter Half Marathons.
Now weighing 10 stone 13 lb, Donna has reversed her diabetes and came off her medication. But she admits: “Even now, I still get a craving for Coke.
“But I have a bottle of sparkling water instead. There’s no way I’m going to crack.
“I can’t bear to think about all the holidays I could have been on with that £50,000.
“Thinking of all the things I could have done with that money makes me want to weep.”