WEIGHING 13st 7lb, Lyndsay Collier never in her wildest dreams thought she would be the glamourous face of a glossy magazine.
But after six years of hard exercise and discipline, the 24-year-old is the lead feature in this month’s Slimming World and hopes her story will encourage others to lose weight.
Lyndsay, who lives in Leigh, has glycogen storage disorder, which meant she had an enlarged stomach as a child.
Although her condition has become more manageable as she got older, she piled on the weight after her 17th birthday.
She had found love with boyfriend Martin Gregory, now 27, and when they moved in together in 2009, they lived off pasta ready meals and takeaways.
After a disastrous shopping trip trying on dresses for her 21st birthday, she decided she needed to take action and with her weight down to 12st, 9lb, (size 18), she joined a local Slimming World group.
She said: “I wasn’t happy with the way I looked or felt - I was tired a lot of the time and got out of breath if I walked up the stairs.
“I made a couple of half-hearted attempts at crash diets, yet it was too hard to give up my TV-and-crisps habit.
“But I knew I had to do something if I wanted to be happy with myself the next time I got dressed up for a special occasion.
“What impressed me was how much I could eat.
“There were so many tasty-sounding options that I really thought I could do it.”
After three weeks Lyndsay earned her half-stone award and by five months, she has lost two stone.
But she then began to struggle losing any more weight to reach her 10st 2lb target, with her gaining weight at different intervals.
She said: “My biggest gain was three-and-a-half pounds, which was pretty discouraging.
“Even at my lowest point though, I knew that if I stuck to the plan, it would all be right the following week.”
After more perseverance, Lyndsay reached her ideal weight and set herself a new target of 9st 7lb, (size 12) which she achieved last summer.
As a result she was voted the group’s Miss Slinky and Woman of The Year.
She said: “That was such an honour and it made me proud to think I had inspired other members.
“I want to say a big thank you to the group as I could not have done it without their support.”
Lyndsay now uses her experiences to inspire others as she is one of the lead members of the slimming group, as she performs the weigh-ins.
Lyndsay’s incredible weight loss story is featured in Slimming World, which is out now, priced at £2.75.