A grandmother-of-four has stunned friends and family with her dramatic transformation.
Lesley Bell, of North Shields, says she was 15st before she went on a weight loss programme in January and was even heavier a few years ago.
Now, the 57-year-old weighs 10-11st, and has dropped down from a size 24 to a size 14-16.
She says some of her former colleagues failed to recognise her after her incredible makeover.
And she was over the moon to be able to wear a size 16 dress at her nephew’s wedding in August.
Lesley, who works at Longsands Fish Kitchen, in Tynemouth, said: “I feel great about myself. This is the best thing I’ve done this year.”
She joined a WW class, formerly Weight Watchers, in Shiremoor, after a friend asked if she wanted to go along with her.
She lost 4lb in the first week and decided to continue attending regular sessions. Helped by coach Suzanne Moore, she made major changes to her lifestyle.
She swapped processed food for fresh fruit and vegetables, and also started running three times a week.
At her heaviest, she struggled to walk but is now able to run for around six miles and wants to take part in the Race for Life and Great North Run.
“I used to just eat sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and processed food,” said Lesley. “Now I eat fruit and vegetables and cook all sorts of things with butternut squash, aubergines and courgettes. We get recipe cards with colourful and lovely meals.
“You really have to re-think what you are eating. And I did this alongside doing exercise. I even bought a skipping rope and do skipping.
“I feel really good and lots of people have noticed the difference. Some have had to look twice because they could not recognise me.
“My son told me ‘mum this is your year’. And by God, he was right.”
Lesley, who has two sons and a daughter, said she received a lot of support at the WW class.
“They just encourage you,” she added. “It’s like a big family. Everyone is so friendly and no-one judges you.
“It’s easy to get disheartened if you don’t lose weight each week. But it’s important to remember that your body changes every week and you just carry on.”
Source : Chroniclelive