An award winning Sunderland foster carer is enjoying a new lease of life after shedding five stones.
Alice Potts, was determined to shift the weight after realising how large she had become in a family photograph.
The Penshaw grandmother, who has fostered for Sunderland City Council for almost 20 years, said since reducing her weight she no longer needs a second knee replacement.
Alice, 60, was the winner of a national Believe in Me Award for foster carers in 2005, after one of the young people in her care nominated her, saying: “Alice makes me smile and think in the right directions. She’ll always be my idol, my life, my best friend and my star. I will always love her.”
Now, although still fostering, Alice plans to continue helping people – this time on their weight loss journey.
After topping the scales at 16st 5lbs, Alice lost an amazing five stone in just under a year.
I feel fitter now than I did 20 years agoAlice Potts
She said: “It was when I saw a particular photo of myself and I didn’t recognise the person looking back at me, that I decided the weight had to go. I looked like a fat, old lady and that just wasn’t the way I saw myself.”
With the help and support of Slimming World, Alice quickly got into the routine of eating healthy options and the weight started to shift.
Now, she has set up her own Slimming World group to assist others.
Alice, who is married to James and has three children and five grandchildren, as well as still be close to lots of her foster children and foster grandchildren, said another thing which helped her success was walking.
She said: “I started to walk, which wasn’t an easy job with arthritis.
“At first I didn’t get far and often a family member would come and rescue me when my joints would lock.
“As the weight started to drop off it got easy and my distance got further and after eight weeks no one needed to come to my rescue.”
Alice said the best thing about Slimming World was still being able to have her favourite foods of curry and chips, but making it in a healthier way.
Before losing weight Alice had already undergone one knee replacement and was awaiting another, but now she doesn’t need it.
Alice said the benefits to losing weight are enormous, as well as feeling and looking more attractive, she is also full of energy and feels so much healthier.
She said: “I feel fitter now than I did 20 years ago, which is amazing.
“People don’t realise how harmful it is to be overweight and how many years it takes off your life. I know I’ve added years to my life so I can be around for my grandchildren for a lot longer.”
Alice’s Slimming World group will start on January 8 and run every Monday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm from opens her group at 9.30am on Sunday 31st December at Philadelphia Cricket and Community Club. For details contact Alice on 07817 737215.