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Actress fed up of being cast as 'fat, funny one' sheds nearly FOUR stone to be sexy lead; Natalie Metcalfe ballooned to 15 stone and a size 20 after gorging on fatty foods.

Byline: Kate McMullin

An actress who dreamed of landing a "sexy lead role" but who always ended up being cast as the "fat, funny one" has shed nearly FOUR stone.

Natalie Metcalfe ballooned to 15 stone and a size 20, after gorging on takeaways, crisps and sugary sweets.

The 31-year-old said she piled on the weight after getting a job in a call centre which allowed her to sit for eight hours a day and tuck into treats.

She said: "The fact that I was sitting down for eight hours every day and was so inactive didn't help, but nor did my diet.

"I'd start the morning with bacon and sausage on a white roll with loads of butter and brown sauce - and then I'd snack on crisps and sweets throughout the morning.

"Lunch would be a shop-bought sandwich with a variety of fillings but always on white bread and smothered with mayonnaise."

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To get through what she called the "3pm slump" in the office, she would fill up on crisps and sweets before heading home for a takeaway or her favourite - a lasagne, with cheesy garlic bread and chips.

But the amateur dramatics performer, fromWalton,said her health began to suffer - as did her dream of performing.

She said: "I was out of breath and lethargic and it really started to damage my confidence. As for my beloved theatre? While I wanted to be centre stage, it was never going to happen.

"I wanted to be the sexy lead but I always ended up the fat best friend.

"And while I dreamed of being centre stage, I dreaded being in the spotlight because I felt too fat.

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"I didn't go for some roles because I thought I was too big to play them.

"I auditioned for Rizzo and Jan, two of the Pink Ladies in Grease, but, of course, it was the role of Jan I got -- the funny, fat friend.

"In West Side Story, I was Anybodys, the tomboy, not one of the pretty Puerto Rican girls.

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"If I did go for a part like that, I'd get the chorus, not front centre but hidden a bit!

"And, when the company did Sondheim's Follies, I refused to audition because I couldn't play a showgirl and wear such a revealing costume.

"I was stopping myself."

Natalie, who performs with theMaghullMusical Theatre Company, said she would always dread being measured for costumes and was mortified at her size.

She said: "A wardrobe mistress takes everyone's measurements and I was mortified when it came to her putting the tape measure around me, just the thought of her writing down my vital statistics.

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"I think, at one point, my waist was pushing 44 inches.

"When it came to handing costumes out, it was never the glamorous, sequinned costumes that came my way -- sometimes it was just something big that they knew would fit, which often made me look bigger and frumpier than ever.

"Even if I had got the glam all-singing and dancing parts, I'd have struggled to get around the stage."

"I spent nothing for a whole week - and here's what happened"

But, after Natalie saw a picture of herself at a Christmas party and "couldn't believe it was her", she decided she had to do something if she was ever going to bag her dream front-of-stage role.

So, in January 2015, she took the plunge and joinedSlimming World.

She said: "I took it slowly and steadily and started to see results.

"Breakfast is now porridge piled high with raspberries and I'll have veg-packed omelettes for lunch.

"I can still enjoy my favourite of lasagne with chips for dinner -- but now it is made from scratch the Slimming World way."

After her diet overhaul, Natalie began to see results and is now 11 stone-and-a-half and a healthy size 12.

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She said: "I'm aiming to get to a size 10 so I think perhaps another half stone.

"As I've lost weight, I've started swapping nights of comfort-eating on the couch for getting out and getting active with the Couch 2.5k app.

"And, not only did I make it to a 5k, I managed a 10k obstacle run to help raise funds for a friend's MS treatment."

But her biggest achievement of all came recently - when she got to perform at the front of the stage with the Maghull Musical Theatre Company.

She said: "I have just played Beryl in Made in Dagenham for Maghull Musical Theatre Company and it was great because, although she's not a glamorous character, she is funny and, for the first time, when I looked at pictures of myself, I thought: 'I can see the difference'.

"My confidence has soared to new levels and I feel better and fitter and I no longer dread those costume fittings.

"I've got no problem in going for the roles I want -- and I've landed quite a few too.

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"I was Erma in Anything Goes and I finally got the chance to wear figure-hugging glamorous gowns -- and be happy in the spotlight.

"Now I've got my sights set on Calamity Jane.

"And maybe I could play the sexy lead!"

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And Natalie has even found herself a new leading man.

She said: "I met Ben on the first day of my new job and we got on really well but I shied away because of my weight. Eight months ago, after losing weight, I got the confidence to ask him out. And he said yes -- without any prompting from the sides."


Credit: Handout

Natalie Metcalfe, 31, ballooned to 15 stone and a size 20, after gorging on takeaways, crisps and sugary sweets

Credit: Handout

Natalie has dropped nearly four stone and gone from a size 20 to a size 12

Credit: Handout

Natalie joined Slimming World in a bid to lose weight

Credit: Handout

Natalie said she felt her weight hindered her dreams of being the 'sexy lead role' on stage

Credit: Handout

Natalie performs with the Maghull Musical Theatre Company

Credit: Handout

Natalie says she no longer dreads those costume fittings

Credit: Handout

Natalie said she wanted to be the 'sexy lead' but always ended up the 'fat best friend'

Credit: Handout

Natalie got to perform at the front of the stage with her theatre company after losing weight
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Publication:Crosby Herald (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 4, 2018
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