Laura Neil, 32, from Falkirk had ballooned up to 22 stone 8 lbs after she piled on the pounds following her father's tragic death.
She was so shocked by the snap, taken at an engagement party and uploaded to Facebook, that she burst out crying.
But the photo also sparked her into action, and she lost more than half her body weight by ditching her daily takeaways for healthier, home-cooked food.
Now a trim 10st 5lb, Laura is glad to pose for pictures on nights out as she can wear glam outfits after dropping eight dress sizes from 26 down to a slimline size 10.
Laura, a student midwife, said: "I saw a picture of myself and I burst out crying.
"I never looked at myself. A family member took the pictured and uploaded it to Facebook.
"I felt I looked really shocking, I had to do something about it."
Consumed by grief at the loss of her dad in 2010, Laura found comfort in junk food and became a recluse.
She would regularly skip breakfast and binge on crips and chocolate throughout the day before ordering a takeaway for dinner, rarely cooking food for herself.
She added: "I'd always been quite heavy as a child, but I lost my dad to cancer at 21 and put on five stone in a year. At my heaviest, I weighed 22 stone 8lbs.
"I was depressed from losing my dad. It was very sudden, we were told he had longer left than he lived for.
"I was just eating a lot of junk food and takeaways, I didn't often eat a normal meal that I had cooked myself."
But Laura desperately wanted to be a mum and knew she had to lose weight if she wanted to be fit enough to have kids.
She began researching healthier ways of preparing food and began using the Pinch of Nom recipe book to cook meals from scratch.
A year into her weight loss journey, weighing 14st 2lbs, she fell pregnant with her only daughter Esme, now five.
Laura put two stones back on during her pregnancy, but she lost more than six stones between giving birth in 2016 and 2019.
She added: "I had ups and downs, but I was determined to get back at it. I wanted to get to my goal.
"I would use Pinch of Nom recipes and hand cook my dinners. I'd use Fry Light instead of cooking oil and all fresh ingredients rather than sauces from jars."
When she got to 16 stone, Laura joined Scottish Slimmers, where she followed their diet and stripped the last few stones.
Laura, who is engaged to Garry McAllister, said her new figure has given her more confidence and allows her to be a good mum.
She added: "It has been life-changing, I'm much more confident.
“I go out and socialise - I would never have taken a picture of myself before, but now I don't mind it.
"I wouldn't be able to be as active as a mum and do the things parents would do with their kids if I didn't lose the weight.”