About five years ago, I'd been caring for my auntie, who had dementia, so my priority was not looking after myself at all. I was feeling unwell, waking up stiff, having trouble doing my shoelaces up and when I saw a video of myself, I didn't recognise myself and I realised I had to do something to lose weight. I'd been focussing so much on other people that I had to do something for me.
I'd tried Slimming World years ago and got nowhere, but when I was performing with the Rock Choir at the Ideal Home exhibition at Event City, I came across a flyer and I was inspired by two friends who'd lost twelve stone between them. Within four weeks I'd lost about a stone, but I was eating more than I was before I started with Slimming World - I was just eating the right stuff. I've lost seven stone in two and a half years, I've gone down eight dress sizes and my feet have got smaller. I'm finding other benefits too - I can walk further without feeling out of breath; I was pre-diabetic and had high blood pressure, but now all my results are completely normal and I can sing all night in the choir without feeling stiff the day after.
Lots of people have been really supportive. I used to dread moving and handling and first aid courses, but now I'm 'bring it on!' because I can get down on the floor no problem! Now, if I'm prompted to do something active like go for a walk (I use the Action for Happiness app), I can just do it because I'm much fitter. I feel more optimistic and happier - that's down to both losing the weight and being in the Rock Choir; they seem like separate things but together they have made a big difference to me. I've won the 'Greatest Loser' award three years on the run and I've won awards for inspiring other people too.
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