As the festive season approaches we all put on an extra pound or two over Christmas.
But these inspirational slimmers should kick-start us into healthy eating for those who want to get back into shape.
ChronicleLive has followed the stories of five inspiring people who have shed a whopping 60 stones between them.
And this fabulous five should give everyone who is thinking about changing their Travel the encouragement they need.
Only days ago we told how aunt-to-be Maxine Wren tipped the scales at almost 28 stones and was warned by her GP she could be dead within a year.
Determined to survive to meet her nephew, the 39-year-old took the fight into her own hands after refusing weight-loss surgery and slimming pills.
Now, the Chester-le-Street aunt has been crowned Slimming World’s Woman of the Year after shedding a massive 17 stone.
Qualified nursery practitioner Maxine was prescribed slimming pills and referred for a gastric bypass operation by her GP.
But a month later she learned her sister was expecting a baby, and decided surgery was too much of a risk.
Having ballooned to 27st 12lbs at her heaviest, Maxine joined her local Slimming World group in 2013.
And Maxine’s hard work paid off and in August she married husband John in a size 8/10 wedding dress, having previously been a dress size 36.
She said: “Words can’t describe how special it was to walk down the aisle more than half the woman I was.
For the first time in my life, when I look in the mirror I like how I look – and I felt like a princess on my wedding day.
“I hope I’m proof to people that there’s never any amount of weight you can’t lose. Everything’s changed.”
Dad Peter Wake has become an inspiration to his sons after he dramatically shed six stone in 10 months.
The 30-year-old decided to go on a fitness regime after he realised his boys were copying his bad eating habits.
Peter, who works 12-hour factory shifts, used to eat takeaways five or six times a week and admitted he had “never eaten a salad before”.
His sons Joshua and Ethan, aged 11 and three respectively, started to follow in his footsteps.
After Christmas last year, when Peter weighed 17st, he decided to become active and make big changes to his diet.
He joined Hetton Community Pool and Wellness Centre, in Hetton-le-Hole, and started working out four times a week. He used a range of cardio facilities including the bikes, treadmills and cross trainer.
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At the same time, he cut down on the takeaways and started eating healthily, with more fruit and vegetables in his meals.
Now, he weighs just over 11st and his waist size has dropped from 44 inches to around 30-32 inches.
Peter, of Easington Lane, Sunderland, said: “I used to eat a lot of takeaways and not any healthy food. I had never eaten salad in my life.
“I feel 100 times better in myself. I have so much more energy, I’m a lot happier and, importantly, my sons have changed their habits too.”
Dad Carl Martin lost three stone and is pushing out the message to other men to look after their weight.
The 45-year-old watched wife Alison transform her life as she lost five stone taking part in the Slimming World program.
But, at first, he thought it wasn’t for him.
Carl, from Newcastle, says he’d been left with the impression that weight loss groups were “for girls” – but he’s now urged other blokes to give them a go after shedding the pounds.
He said: “For a man who doesn’t know about it, it can be quite intimidating, but once you get to the group it’s so inclusive.
“I’ve always had quite low self esteem, but until I met my wife, I never would have thought about going to a Slimming World group.
“Obesity is pretty high among men so I’m sure there are a lot of men out there who could be helped, but I do think there is a stigma there.”
With the huge health benefits that come from losing weight, dad-of-one Carl says plenty of guys would benefit from tackling their weight.
But he claims that because weight loss and dieting are often associated with women, they may feel worried about coming forward and admitting they’re struggling with their size.
The civil servant knows firsthand the difference it can make once you do.
Before shedding weight over the last 18 months, he says he suffered from low moods and felt negative about how he looked.
Now, he feels “amazing” walking into high street stores and choosing clothes which feel right to him, loving what he sees in the mirror.
This grandfather lost more than 18st after a shock wake-up call – and he says it’s never to late to improve your health.
NHS leaders have called on people over 30 to take the ‘heart age’ test to see the impact their lifestyle might be having on their chances of suffering a heart attack.
When Chris Coulter, from High Heaton, Newcastle, took that same test eight years ago, he was shocked to discover his heart was that of someone in their mid-50s – seven years older than his actual age.
Chris had a dramatic wake-up call in the summer of 2010, when wooden garden furniture collapsed underneath him at a family barbecue.
Shards of the furniture cut his leg – which quickly became infected, and struggled to heal because of his weight, which topped the scales at 29st 5lbs. Medics told him he needed to slim down, or risk losing his leg altogether.
His doctor referred him to a local Slimming World group, which he attended along with partner Lesley.
Eight years on, the pair have lost a stunning 25st between them, with Chris dropping from nearly 30st to around 11st.
Now 55, Chris’ heart age is much close to his actual age – just two years older, at 57.
It comes as a huge relief to both Chris and Lesley know he’s regained “precious time to enjoy together as a family”.
He’s urged others to look at the test, as it might give them the push they need to change – and possibly extend – their life.
Chris said: “It’s not about depriving yourself or going without, just about making better choices.”
Grieving son Ben Grigg shed HALF his body weight following the loss of his father – after his mum told him she didn’t want to “lose anyone else”.
Binging on takeaways and biscuits, Ben once tipped the scales at more than 33st.
The 28-year-old parts advisor tried several diets and action plans to lose weight, but with little success.
It took a frank conversation with his mum Norma after the death of his father Chris in April 2016 for Ben to commit to the life-changing decision.
Ben, of Prudhoe, Northumberland, said: “My mum broke down and said I don’t want to lose anyone else. After my dad died I ballooned a lot more.
“She was scared for me, and it made something click in my head. That hit me like a tonne of bricks.”
Ben joined a friend at his local Slimming World group and started attending weekly. Within months he was a gym regular working out three to four times a week.
A year later, Ben had managed to lose an eye-watering 15st and had radically changed his lifestyle. He now weighs under 16st and did this year’s Great North Run.
Describing his weight loss journey, he said: “It was really hard to start with but you get used to it. It’s all in your mindset.
“I had to stop having takeaways and biscuits. I loved eating all of the wrong stuff and too much of it.
“I lost 15st in the first year and I’ve been chipping away ever since.”
Source : Chroniclelive