A WOMAN who spiralled into unhealthy eating habits after losing her family home and job in a matter of days has become a weight loss idol.

Shannon Palmer, who made her name as @thelittlelifeofshazzap on Instagram, has built a body positive community of more than 12,000 people by sharing how stress caused her weight gain.

The care worker’s life was left “in tatters” when a tumble dryer exploded and burnt down her home - the next day she was made redundant.

Shannon fell into depression, confessing how she began “gorging” on takeaways and snacks alone in her room.

In a matter of months her dress size went from a size 14 to a size 22, tipping the scales at 17 stone.

She would eat fry-ups or McDonald’s for breakfast; chocolate and several packets of crisps as snacks; supermarket sandwiches or fish and chips for lunch and, for tea, a takeaway and at least 10 cans of fizzy pop each day.

The 26-year-old told the Telegraph & Argus: “My house belongings and life was left in tatters.

"We lost everything. My family all stuck together through the trauma of what happened.

"Two days later I was made redundant. Gorging on food and fizzy pop, I went up to 17 stone.

"It just makes you feel better sometimes.

"I used to wear two pairs of 'Spandex' to suck my fat in.

"I used my big, bubbly personality to try and look confident on nights out but I was really upset that I didn't feel physically confident with my stunning, thin friends about.

"I was sick of being ‘the fat funny friend’.

“I thought only I could change a negative to a positive."

Last Autumn, the Instagrammer expressed her concerns to her boyfriend's sister, Amy - who later took Shannon to her first Slimming World session.

She slowly cut out full fat fizzy drinks and limited takeaways to once a week.

Instead of staying inside on down days, she found peace in nature.

Shannon said: “Don’t feel sorry for yourself.

"Instead of lying down, go for a walk. It’s time to think.

"Being in outdoor places, I love it. We go walking on a weekend.

"I decided, so unhappy, I would try Slimming World this year. I gained a new job as a carer on 12 hour shifts. I found it so hard but I ended up losing a stone myself as I was ashamed to go to group.

" I said, 'I’m going to bite the bullet'.

“It’s not even a year to lose four stone."

The influencer has now become a lover of cooking from scratch by ditching nightly takeaways.

Richard, her boyfriend, is her guinea pig for all the meals she makes.

Shannon said: "I sat and, instead of eating to make myself feel better, I used the negatives to turn it into positives.

"I changed my mentality and turned to healthy food optimising and still had my favourite comfort meals but made the healthy way.

"I still have chocolate in a day and crisps, but I've learnt to stop at one bag instead of eating more than I should.

"It's all about knowing not to restrict but when to stop," she added.

Shannon, who was crowned Slimming World's Woman of the Year, now wears size 12 clothes but this hasn't changed her body positive message.

Her Instagram will continue to grow as a space for women to love their own body shape and finding balance.

2019 has proved revolutionary as she shared holiday photos in her bikini with pride.

She said: "I am so positive about my journey.

"I feel fabulous.

"I think it comes across on my Instagram.

"Sometimes I do have down days. I do feel like I've come out of the other side.

"I don't like to sound patronising as you've got to be very careful. I feel confident now.

"People message me for advice."

The influencer, originally from West Bowling, said people even recognise her out on her travels which leaves her feeling "shy".

Shannon said: "A lady messaged me, 'Were you in Skipton today?', and I feel quite shy.

"It's nice for people to call me an inspiration.

"I've got the support in Slimming World. Julie Dawson is always on hand no matter what time and no matter how big or small the question is. She's turned into a good friend as well as my Slimming World consultant."

In a message to anyone needing a sign to make lifestyle changes, Shannon says start off small.

She said: "I would never thought I was going to lose 4 stone but I did it. Start with little changes and believe in yourself."