A mother of seven, who struggled to complete the five minute walk to her children’s school has lost more than 15 stone in the last 14 months.
Lesley Richardson, 41, of Mildenhall, weighed 27st 3ibs in December 2011, since when has dropped from a size 36 to a size 14 and enjoys an active life with her family.
She said: “I had teenagers and little ones and the teenagers pretty much looked after the little ones because I simply did not have the energy.
“It got to the point where walking to the school was really, really hard work and I would have to stop three or four times during a five minute walk.
“I thought I can’t be a mum to my children and I want to be. I want to be somebody they can enjoy rather than have to put up with.”
Lesley was considering undergoing surgery to have a gastric band fitted when she accompanied a friend to a Slimming World meeting in Mildenhall.
She said: “Walking through those doors was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I was embarrassed and terrified that I was going to be the biggest person there, but I needn’t have been worried because everyone there was so friendly and welcoming.”
It had been years since Lesley had weighed herself, even requesting not to be told her weight when visiting the doctor.
After being on the club’s plan for several weeks and knowing she was on the road to weight loss she was able to confront the scales.
Lesley said: “When you have a lot of weight to loose there are many hurdles to overcome to change old ways and adopt new healthy habits that you can sustain for the rest of your life.”
In the last 14 months on she has lost 15st 6.5ib putting herself in the top 10 weight losers across Slimming Worlds’ 10,000 groups.
She said: “I do not take anything for granted anymore.
“I do not care if someone looks at me singing songs playing hide and seek with my daughter because I know what it’s like not to do it.”