A young driver has shed a spectacular seven stone as she struggled to get behind the wheel of her car.
Christine Mann, 59, was forced to turn her life around after tipping the scales at nearly 20 stone shortly after passing her driving test.
But she is now on the road to a healthier life and has found the confidence to return to education – as well as dropping from a size 22 to a slim size 14.
Christine now weighs just over 12 stone after making changes to her eating habits – while still enjoying potatoes and home-made curry.
Christine said: “After passing my driving test I tried to get behind the wheel. “It was knocking me over because my stomach was up to the steering wheel and I didn’t like driving.
“I was also depressed that I couldn’t go to any shops to buy clothes.
“But as I’ve lost weight, my confidence has grown. I go to college twice a week and am currently taking my GCSE English and Maths exams.
“I have become a “yes” person and I am interested in new challenges.”
Christine, from Yeovil, told how she had tried to lose weight in the past but struggled as she couldn’t stick to rigid diets.
Instead, she joined Slimming World where she was supported by a weekly weight loss group, never going hungry.
“I think I’ve failed in the past because I was going it alone, but the support and many friends I made at Slimming World helped me stick with it this time,” said Christine.
“Before, I went for fast food, which wasn’t always the healthiest.
“But my eating habits have changed, so now I have a healthy diet, no junk food, but I eat more vegetables and salads.
“Even in restaurants I tend to go for jacket potatoes and I go for a lot more fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and homemade curries.
“The things I love most about the plan are that there are so many free meals to choose from, you can eat as much as you want and never go hungry, plus no calorie counting.”
Christine, who has been married for 37 years, still attends the group every week and enjoys free membership now she has reached her target weight.
She also enjoys the support of other group members as part of the social team.
Christine added: “It’s a very friendly group so I enjoy going every week for the support.
“I also support other members as a social team member helping them lose weight and reach their goal.”
A recent study from the University of Lincoln found that people who are supported to lose weight in a group setting lose weight – but also improve their mental stamina. Dr Elizabeth Stamp said: “Mental resilience is about how one copes with the challenges and stressors they face.
“More than that, though, it’s about seeking out and taking on new challenges. People who have high mental resilience have skills such as being able to break down larger goals into smaller achievable goals, being in control of their lives and the decisions they make, and having the confidence to ask for help when it’s needed. required.
“Helping members think through challenges, make plans when things can get in the way, and develop strategies for these times are all ways the group supports members to stick to their plans and successfully lose weight each time.” week.”
Christine’s consultant, Julie Snowdon, said: “Christine was a shy lady who is more confident in the group and is up for anything.
“She comes every week to help, to join, to communicate her achievements and is always happy. “We are very proud of her and the changes she has made to get to where she is today.”
Julie’s group goes to Yeovil Ex-Service and Social Club every Monday at 6.30pm and every Tuesday at 9.30am.