A Seaham woman shed more than six stone after finding out that her wedding ring no longer fitted her finger.
Dawn Thomas, 55, from Falmouth Close, is a different person after losing an incredible 6st 1.5lb with Slimming World.
The mum-of-three children, aged 28, 27, and 20, saw her weight pile on after quitting her 60-a-day smoking habit aged 30, causing her to eat unhealthy snacks to curb her cravings.
Dawn, who is married to Alan Thomas, 57 - who runs company AT Motors on Bank Head Street in Seaham - said she became addicted to food.
At her lowest point she was a size 20 and weighed 16st 5lbs, a weight which meant that her wedding ring was unable to fit on her finger.
Knowing that she needed to change, Dawn - a company secretary at AT Motors - joined the Slimming World Group at Seaham Methodist Church in February 2016 under the guidance of Michelle Gallagher.
Just over a year later in August 2017 she reached her target, and now weighs a healthy 10st 3lb and is a slim size 10.
Dawn said: “Walking through the door of my first Slimming World session was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but definitely one of the best. When I quit my 60-a-day smoking habit aged 30, I started to chew chewing gum to curb the cravings.
“But then I went on to eat unhealthy snacks such as bags of crisps, chocolate and sweets.
“I never stopped eating and never ate the healthy things, it was always the bad choices, so over the years my weight has gone up.
“I would lose some weight then go back to my bad eating habits and put the weight back on and more. “I had become addicted to food and the only time I did not eat was when I was asleep.
“My wedding ring would no long fit on my finger, so I wore my husband Alan’s ring instead.
“So when I did decide to join one cold February morning I was at my lowest ebb.”
That first week Dawn lost 4lbs and as she began to lose more weight each week she became hooked.
She kept going to weekly sessions and was delighted to see how much better she felt, becoming fitter and more able to participate in her weekly Zumba classes.
She said: “I was made to feel part of a team and we all encouraged and helped each other.
“Now I have size 10 and 12 dresses in my wardrobe and my wedding ring is back on after 20 odd years.
“That was a big achievement and I only wish I had done it sooner.
“Without Slimming World I would not have lost all my weight.
“I tell everyone I meet it’s not a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle.”
Breakfast: Four slices of bread with butter and jam.
Lunch: Pie and chips or biscuits and cake.
Dinner: Big meals such as lasagne with lots of cheese.
Snacks: Cakes, sweets and puddings.
Breakfast: Porridge with fruit.
Lunch: Salad or quiche.
Dinner: Chicken dinner with vegetables and potatoes or salads.
Snacks: Fruit and yoghurt.