A group of South Yorkshire women who between them have lost 50 stone and regained their lives showed off their new slimline figures at a charity fashion show.
Eight women who attend Weight Watchers classes, agreed to be models at a fashion show aimed at raising cash for St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and Diabetes UK.
Three years ago 27-year-old Becky Brown, from Norfolk Park, struggled to walk up the hill to her home without gasping for breath.
She topped the scales at 21st 10lbs and wore a size 26.
Today, weighing in at 13st 7lbs, Becky now proudly wears a size 12-14 and has never been happier.
She is a self-confessed exercise fanatic, with spinning her favourite gym session.
Becky, a learning and talent management administrator for Capita, said losing weight had helped her regain her confidence.
“I started about three years ago and have been with Weight Watchers for two. I suppose I was sick of having to shop in big size clothing stores, and also I have polycystic ovary syndrome and in order to help that I was told if I lost weight it would be ideal. I also wanted to lose weight to feel fitter too,” she said.
“And it has certainly worked - I am a bit of a spin freak now, I spend a lot of my time in the gym and walking home up the hill is no problem at all now.
“I have lots more confidence now and have joined lots of groups. I would never have modelled years ago but to inspire others and spur them on seemed a positive thing to do.
“A lot of people think that healthy eating means depriving yourself but I don’t do that - I actually eat lots of chocolate, which other members think is crazy but with the exercise I do it’s working.”
Becky has another 25lbs to lose to reach her target weight and hopes to use her weight loss journey to help others struggling to shed the pounds by setting up her own Weight Watchers group.
Marie Webster, aged 48, who attends the High Green Weight Watchers group in Sheffield, lost 112lbs in 18 months - dropping from a size 18 to a size 8.
She too said she hopes her stint as a model will have inspired others.
“I was motivated to lose weight for my health - I had aches and pains which were linked to being overweight and in 18 months I had lost eight stone and reached my goal, which I have been at for a year,” she said.
“I was never lacking in confidence and was never unhappy with myself when I was bigger, it was wanting to improve my health which has resulted in me being eight stone lighter.
“Taking part in the fashion show was my way of showing others that it can be done.
“When new people come to our group I tell them about my journey and give them encouragement because I remember what it felt like to walk in for the first time.”
Vicky Williams, aged 33, from Parson Cross, has lost 84lbs since last May.
The mum-of-three said she felt ‘on top of the world’ modelling at the Garrison Hotel in Hillsborough on Monday night.
“I never used to have any energy and would get breathless just walking up the street but now my life is totally different - I have loads of energy to lead a more active life with the kids, whether it is bouncing with them on the trampoline or taking them to the park, it’s great and I’ve never felt happier,” she said.
“My advice to others would be to make sure they want to lose weight for themselves, not others. I think if you do it for somebody else you will fail.
“Modelling was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, I’m glad I did it and hope people realise that they can lose weight just like I have.”
Weight Watchers leader Jackie Hetherington said: “These ladies are absolutely amazing, I feel so proud of all of them, they have been on or are going through a weight loss journey which will change their life for the better, for good.
“The fashion show boosted their confidence so much and I’m sure they would have not been up for this if it wasn’t for their sheer determination.
“All of these ladies felt honoured when they were asked to take part in this event and I as a leader shed a few tears on the night.”
The other models who took part in the event were Zoe Herbert, 47, from Hoyland, who has lost 68lbs; Carolyn Burns, 52, from Chapeltown, who has lost 65lbs; Sarah Kendall, from Stannington, who has lost 35lbs; Dorice Browes, 52, from Hillsborough, who has lost 46lbs and Katie Richards, 27, from Hillsborough, who has lost 52lbs.