It’s been a very merry festive season for Pat Heathcote – filled with mince pies, Christmascake and tons of other delicious delicacies.
And yet when the 69-year-old stepped on the scales on January 1, she was delighted to find her weight had not shifted a pound.
“I’ve got pretty good at knowing what I can get away with and when I need to be good,” said Pat, who lost an impressive four stone in seven months in 1982 and has maintained the weight loss ever since.
And Pat was thrilled when her achievement was recognised with a 30-year gold member ‘lifetime achievement’ award from a local slimming group.
“It was such a lovely recognition,” said the grandmother-of-three who lives with husband James in Stocksbridge.
“I was thrilled to receive the award,” said Pat
She said she never struggled with her weight until she was in her 30s and gave birth to her son.
Pat said: “Suddenly I was at home all day, snacking and eating whatever I felt like and the pounds began to creep on.
“Then I began fostering and child minding and the problem just got worse.
“The turning point for me came when my niece asked me if I was pregnant again – I wasn’t and I was mortified – but she actually did me an enormous favour.
“I confided in a friend about how I was feeling and she dragged me along with her to a local Weight Watchers meeting.
“I joined in the May – a dress size 20 – and by October I’d gone from 13 stone to eight stone 13.
“I saw the difference immediately.
“As the pounds fell off I was so much more confident and it felt lovely to be active again without getting out of breath and have people tell me how well I looked.”
Pat, a lollipop lady, is now at her ‘comfortable’ weight of 9st 3lbs and rarely puts on a pound.
She said: “My husband James is an enormous help as he enjoys eating healthily too and we do it together. He’s fantastic at making salads and preparing meals for us.
“My tastes have definitely changed as I’ve got older too. I no longer have much of a sweet tooth whereas, at one time, I could have sat and eaten a box of chocolates in one sitting!
“I don’t deny myself anything, I really don’t.
“I just count it in my points and by sticking to that every day, and by making sure I go to the weigh-ins at least once a month, I’ve maintained the lifestyle and couldn’t be happier with the result.”