Sunderland slimmer Joyce Stewart says she feels like a new woman after losing nearly 3½ stone.
And her inspiring weight loss has led to her being named St Cuthbert’s at Red House Slimming World Woman of the Year.
Joyce has gone from 15st 9lbs pounds to 12st 5lbs in 21 months.
The Slimming World’s Woman of the Year competition recognises the achievements of women in making long-term healthy lifestyle changes for both themselves and their families.
Joyce joined Slimming World in October 2013 after becoming increasingly unhappy with her size.
She says: “I started to put on weight when I retired from work.
“I tried lots of different diets but they usually left me feeling hungry, miserable and in fact depressed. I was ashamed and hiding, not having my photograph taken.
“With Slimming World it’s completely different, I never have to miss out and I don’t have to get hung up on weighing and measuring everything I eat.
“I don’t feel deprived and after losing 3½ stone I’m the slimmest, the happiest and the fittest I’ve been in such a long time!”
The 71-year-old, who lives in Red House, follows Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan, which encourages slimmers to fill up on satisfying yet healthy everyday foods like fruit and veg, lean meat and fish, pasta, potatoes, rice and pulses without having to weigh or measure.
She says: “My family and friends are all amazed how much I can eat and still lose weight.
“As the weight started to come off and I began moving down dress sizes, I’ve gone from a size 22 to a 16 I started to believe I could actually lose the weight and keep it off.
“I’ve got so much more energy and I can do things now that I couldn’t before. My fitness has improved and I enjoy being even more active now rather than thinking of it as a chore.
“I love my regular activity at the gym and playing with my grand children and niece without feeling exhausted. I’m more confident and I like the slim, happy, positive person I now see in the mirror. I feel like a winner already, so being voted the St Cuthberts group’s Woman of the Year 2015 is just the icing on the cake.”
Vanessa Mavin, who runs the St Cuthbert’s group, says: “I’m so proud of Joyce. Not only does she look fabulous, she’s improved her health and is bursting with energy. She’s a huge inspiration to everyone in our group.”
The St Cuthbert’s Slimming World group is held every Wednesday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at St Cuthbert’s Church, Rotherham Road, Red House. To join, or find out more, call Vanessa on 07796173977 or 0191 5485020.