A woman has lost more than eight stone after being told she was too overweight for reconstructive surgery, following a double mastectomy.
Julie Hart was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 and following a period in remission she was told in 2008 she needed a mastectomy.
Julie made the choice to have a double mastectomy but was told she could not have reconstructive surgery, until she had lost at least six stone.
Julie, 49, of Mildenhall, describes this as her ‘lowest point’.
She said: “Months of chemo, 18 stone, no hair, no breasts, everything a woman is about.
“I found it very hard and was getting depressed.”
After two years of dieting Julie shed only half-a-stone, while her cousin lost three stone in under a year on the Slimming World plan.
She took Julie to a meeting, in Mildenhall, in January 2011.
Julie said: “I remember walking through the door for the first time I was so nervous and so down on myself I thought everyone would laugh at me but I was greeted with open arms.”
Last December, Julie reached 12 stone and was told she could have the surgery, however she postponed it until she reached her target weight.
Three weeks ago Julie hit her target, having lost more than eight-and-a-half stone, and is due to undergo surgery during the Christmas period.
Julie said: “I had been overweight since I was 10, I’m now 49, and I feel like 39 years have been wasted. I wish someone had dragged me in here a long, long, time ago.
“I have a big birthday next year which I am going to celebrate, I’m going to have a big party, everything then will be behind me.”
Julie hopes her story will inspire others to tackle their weight problems.
She said: “I could not have done it without the support I got from everybody, now I can give it back.”