Mum who shed the pounds hopes her Wigan slimming group will help to change lives

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A mum who was tucking into several takeaways every week and struggled to fasten her own shoes is enjoying a new lease of life after shedding the pounds.

Joanne McGee, 47, had joined slimming clubs several times over the years, but found it difficult to lose weight.

But 18 months ago she decided it was time to have another try at slimming down.

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The mother of two said: “I hit a low point when I was going to go on a night out and I had to ask my son to do my shoes up because I couldn’t bend over to do my own shoes. I knew something had to be done.”

Joanne McGeeJoanne McGee
Joanne McGee

At that point, Joanne weighed 13 stone 8.5lbs and admits she did not have the healthiest diet.

“I was eating takeaways,” she said. “I think we were probably having a takeaway maybe four times a week - it was maybe Friday, Saturday, Sunday and occasionally a lunch during the week. It was costing a fortune.

“It was getting to the point where I was out of breath going upstairs and everything was an effort.”

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Joanne had tried to lose weight in the past and joined slimming clubs, but did not actually follow the diet plan and advice given.

Joanne before losing weightJoanne before losing weight
Joanne before losing weight

But this time it was different when she went to a Slimming World meeting at Aspull Royal British Legion with her partner.

She said: “I went on a Thursday night, like I had done in the past, and thought I would join, fully intending to get a bottle of wine on the way home.

“We both went and joined up. I said we couldn’t get a bottle of wine because it was 30 syns in one bottle. We went home and were a bit fed up.

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“The day after I looked through the recipes and found one for Caribbean beef pepper pot. I made that for our tea and there was so much food. I thought I could do this. It was a diet I could do.

“That was a turning point. Previously I had done other diets and they had been very restricted and you are weighing and measuring everything and end up with a small plate of food and are always hungry. With this there was actually food left over.”

The couple encouraged each other to stick to the diet and swapped their takeaways for homemade meals, such as chilli and bolognese.

The weight fell off and Joanne is now at 9st 7lbs, just half a stone away from her target. She has swapped her size 22 clothes for size 12.

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Joanne, who lives in Blackrod, said: “My life is so much better. I am a lot more active now. I have discovered I actually enjoy going out on my bike, which was a revelation as I never thought I would do that. I go out for walks regularly as well.

“We are saving a lot of money because we don’t get takeaways.”

Her weight loss has even led to Joanne finding a new career, after she was made redundant from her job in a textile testing laboratory.

She has decided to become a Slimming World consultant and is launching her own group, which will be held online initially and then at Aspull’s Royal British Legion when lockdown restrictions are eased.

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She said: “I wanted to help other people because of the impact it’s had on my life and the current situation with the virus seems to affect people more if they are overweight. I thought this might have saved my life and if I can just help one person do the same thing, that’s brilliant.”

Joanne’s Slimming World groups will be held every Thursday at 5pm, 6pm and 6.45pm, from January 28. For more information or to join, call her on 07545 864724.

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