"I'd always been heavy, even as a child. I tried a few diets, but I never really lost much weight because I always gave up really quickly. It was when I developed osteoarthritis at the age of 39 that I realised I had to do something.
"The pain was so bad I had to take strong painkillers four times a day. The doctor said my weight had put wear and tear on my joints and it would get worse.
"I remember being on holiday at the beach on my 39th birthday, seeing people in swimsuits and wishing I was like them. I was determined not to be 40 and fat.
"I joined Weight Watchers. When I went on the scales, I couldn’t believe it. I weighed over 16 stone! They suggested I start by trying to lose 10% of my weight. I made lots of small changes: grilling instead of frying, no sugar on my cereal. I followed the eating plan, so the whole family started to eat more healthily. I walked everywhere and started going to the gym.
"Two months before my birthday I'd lost five stone. I couldn’t wait to buy a swimsuit! Now I wear size 12 trousers, not size 26, and my arthritis is so much better. I have loads of energy and I have a permanent smile on my face."
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