A flabby stomach and in a size 20 dress, fed-up Leanne Wilson wanted a tummy tuck.
But she was shocked when her doctor offered her a gastric band instead.
So distraught at weighing almost 18 stones, it was the light bulb moment the takeaway addict needed to change her eating habits.
And she joined Sliming World to shed her fat.
Now, the proud mum-of-two has lost over six stone by following a healthy eating plan and is in a trim dress size 12 and weighs 11 stone 8.5 lbs.
“I had gained so much weight and had a saggy stomach.
“I booked myself an appointment at my GP’s to see if I was eligible to have a tummy tuck. He said no but I could have a gastric band. I knew I was big but this really shocked me.
“With two young children I knew I couldn’t do it as I would be out of action for a while.
“My sister-in-law’s mother had started Slimming World a few weeks before and she said, ‘why don’t you give it ago, you have nothing to lose but weight’.”
Leanne and her mum started their weight loss journey in March 2018.
Leanne said: “I was so nervous. I felt like everyone was staring it me.
“My consultant Clare was so welcoming. She made me feel at ease. Everyone was there for the same thing – to lose weight.”
Since then Leanne and mum Louise Coates, 52, have lost over eight-and-a-half stone between them.
“My mam has been there for me every step of the way. She started with me just for support but she has also found a new lease of life,” added Leanne, 27, who has children, Ava, five and 19-month-old Lewis.
Leanne, who is married to Richard, would often eat curries, Domino’s pizzas, KFCs and McDonald’s.
And her meals made at home came from ready-made jars.
“Takeaways were my best friend, I would eat them all and I would never cook anything from scratch at home,” said Leanne.
“Now I have lost my weight I have so much more confidence that I went out and got a new job recently as a hair stylists.
“I was quite shy when I was big but I had the confidence to go for the interview and I got the job.”
She added: “In my first week I lost 6lb. I knew I was doing the right thing for myself and my children. My journey hasn’t been easy, I’ve had my ups and downs but I’ve never given up. I attended the group every week.
“Cooking was never really my thing. Now I really enjoy it, even cooking from scratch.
“I can now cook for my family of four instead of making four quick and easy meals to suit everyone. At least I know what I’m giving my children is good for them.”
Leanne is delighted with her new look and is back to the weight she was when a teenager.
“Originally I wanted to loose five stone,” she added.
“I reached that target after 10 months. After a month maintaining that weight I felt I wanted to loose more.
“I lost another seven pound but still felt I wanted to loose more. I am now a target member after loosing 6 stone 2lb. I’m the lightest I’ve been in around 10 years.
“Slimming World has literally changed my life. I am so grateful for the support from my consultant and other members of my group have shown me. This may sound a bit of a clichè but if I can do it, anyone can.”
Weight loss stories to admire … and inspire your own slimming
Leanne goes to the Slimming World group held by consultant Clare Pilkington who runs a class at the Masonic Hall in Birtley every Friday at 9.30m.
For more information call Clare on 07800604990.
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