A woman who weighed over 23 stone and was battling depression five years ago has shed 10 stone and landed herself a new job as a personal trainer at a sports centre.
At her heaviest Sharon Newson weighed 23.5 stone after a lifetime of over-eating, combined with hormone imbalances brought about by her Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
But five years on she is now 10 stone lighter, no longer classed as obese and is helping others to follow in her footsteps.
Sharon, from Woodhouse, has joined Fitness Unlimited as a personal trainer at Concord Sports Centre and hopes to inspire people with her weight loss and fitness journey.
She said she has battled with her weight since she was a child and from the age of five and remembers going to a hospital dietician for regular weigh-ins and dietary advice.
“I quickly learnt that eating food made me feel better whatever emotion I was feeling,” she said.
“My weight continued to steadily rise as I got older and at 41, I was 23.5 stone and extremely depressed. I hadn’t been able to hold down a job for longer than a year due to my low self-esteem.”
Sharon, now 46, took the first step in dealing with her compulsive overeating when she joined Overeaters Anonymous in October 2010.
She also took part in a TV programme about PCOS and presenter Dr Chris van Tulleken offered to help her to get her fit and healthy.
“Those next two years were an amazing journey of continued weight loss, increased fitness and a variety of physical challenges including SCUBA diving, abseiling and go-karting,” Sharon said.
“Some are things I have always wanted to do when I was younger but couldn’t do because of the excess weight. Others have been to overcome a particular fear, and some have been achieved because of my increased fitness levels.
“I now live life to the full. I use my life experiences and knowledge to help others.”