Looking forward to ringing in the New Year in style are these six ‘super slimmers’ who are celebrating shedding over 20 stone in weight.
Finding their perfect party outfit is no longer a dreaded deed for the group of friends from around the UK who collectively used to tip the scales at more than 96 stone.
They have shared stories of their own very personal battles to overcome issues including binge eating and unhealthy lifestyle habits, with the help of National Slimming Clinics.
They are sharing their weight loss journeys in a bid to help anyone wanting to switch to a healthier lifestyle or kick start their own plans to lose weight.
Here, they share their stories exclusively with Femail.
L-R Erin Regan, Winnie Ikediashi, Liam Ryan, Charlotte Dyett, Carla Aldridge and Michelle Bennett have shed an incredible 20 stone between them just in time for 2019. Previously weighing 96 stone between them, the six friends signed up to National Slimming Clinics
Erin was previously 16 stone and 5 pounds and wore size 22 clothes (left) but has since slimmed down to 11 stone 12 pounds and is a size 14 (right)
Erin Regan, from Basingstoke, was left wheelchair bound after being diagnosed with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Being immobile meant her weight soared and at her heaviest Erin weighed 16 stone and 5 pounds and wore size 22 clothes.
She is now 11 stone 12 pounds and is a size 14, having dropped several dress sizes.
Erin said: ‘I started putting on weight during my 20s, sat at my desk for eight hours a day, coupled with a lack of exercise, the pounds kept going up.
‘Then my body just broke, I couldn’t get out of bed, was exhausted but couldn’t sleep. I had constant headaches, noise/light sensitivity, vomiting, mood swings and all over body pain when finally I was diagnosed with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
‘While this was all happening my weight gain was going up at a very quick rate and before I knew it I was over 16 stone and using a wheelchair to see outside.
My struggle with my weight hit new lows on my depression
‘While working to improve my condition with rest, activity breaks and graded exercise therapy, my struggle with my weight hit new lows on my depression and I knew I had to look outside the box for help.’
Erin is now fitter, several stones lighter and looking forward to wearing a bikini for the first time in years.
Shedding the stones has helped change Erin’s life and she revealed it has helped her manage her condition.
‘When it came to getting up and down from a low sofa I used to do the backwards and forwards swing to get momentum to get up, not anymore. Bath time was always frustrating when looking at the water level, now I feel like a mermaid in the bathtub!
‘My condition is with me, it will not go away but I can manage it and managing it with over 4 stone off makes a lot of difference.’
Liam’s weight soared to 18 stone 11lbs thanks to his love of beer and regular nights out (left), but he has since shed 3 stone 11lb and now weighs 15 stone (right)
Beer lover Liam Ryan, from Basildon, would easily down 10 pints on a night out and his regular drinking sessions meant he weighed in at 18 stone 11lbs when he turned to NSC for help with his weight loss struggles.
The 21-year-old, who shed 3 stone 11lb and now weighs 15 stone, confessed he started to have issues when he stopped playing rugby.
‘I was a rugby captain for several years and one day I tore a muscle and was out. Left without exercise and a love for food, it all started going downhill. The biggest problem I ran into was my self-confidence.
‘I could never really establish eye contact with someone or try getting their attention because I was worried they would not like what they see. This is when I knew things had to change for the better.
I would drinks 10 pints of beer on a night out
‘My biggest downfall was beer. I never truly understood how many carbs this had and coming from an Irish background, where 10 on a night out is a minimum, it was a recipe for disaster.
‘My biggest issue was acid reflux. When I was at my heaviest, every night I would wake up struggling to breath and gasping for air. It is even worse knowing it is my weight caused this.
‘With NSC I have found weight easy to lose. They always promote the healthiest lifestyles and are always giving you the best advice to shed the most weight possible, in the healthiest way.’
Liam has his target weight of 13 stone firmly set in his sights and is already enjoying the benefits of his weight loss results. He added: ‘Now I can actually go to a beach without thinking people are laughing at me.’
Winnie previously tipped the scales at 20 stone (left) but she has since overhauled her lifestyle but is now unrecognisable after shedding weight with the help of NSC (right)
When Winnie Ikediashi, from Brighton, tipped the scales at 20 stone the 37-year-old decided she wanted to shed the stones after battling with her weight since she was just nine years old.
Self confessed binge eater Winnie revealed how her weight would fluctuate between 23 and 24 stone leaving her feeling down and unhealthy. Her weight went up again after the birth of her two daughters.
She revealed she never wanted to talk about her weight gain and snapped if anyone brought it up. ‘I couldn’t look in the mirror or let anyone take pictures of me, it was quite sad really, I felt like I had dug my own grave and knew I couldn’t carry on that way, mentally it was draining.
‘I was also thinking about what message I was sending to my two daughters, I started asking myself how would I build their confidence if they couldn’t see any in me?’
My confidence level is through the roof
Winnie was encouraged to go to the gym again and credits her weekly weight checks with helping her keep on track with her weight loss.
She added: ‘When things weren’t going too well I would have a chat with my doctor who would grill me on my snacking and eating habits, explaining the benefits of keeping a food diary, setting myself little targets and changing one thing at a time. Combining this advice with a clean, healthy lifestyle plus exercise paid off and is still paying off.’
Losing weight inspired Winnie to finally have the confidence to follow her long held dream to pursue a career in acting however she admitted her favourite role is being mum to her girls.
‘This journey has been inspired by my daughters. To be able to play, explore and go on adventures with them and be fit enough to have a wonderful time is a blessing and knowing that when they look at me now they are happy and proud to show ‘mummy’ off is just an amazing feeling. My confidence level is through the roof and the sky is the limit.’
Carla was 13 stone 7 pounds (left) before slimming down to 11 stone 1 pound (right) and says she ‘couldn’t be happier’ that she decided to sign up to a slimming clinic
Carla Aldridge, aged 29 from Brighton, lost 2 stone 5lbs with the help of NSC. She was 13 stone 7 pounds before slimming down to 11 stone 1 pound.
Carla said: ‘After years of yo-yo dieting and struggling to keep the weight off, I decided to book a visit to the slimming clinic and I couldn’t be happier that I did.
‘After four to six weeks I was down 1 stone, this definitely gave me more incentive to want to keep going. Not only did the number on the scales go down, I’ve now lost a total of 36 Inches all over.
‘With these results so far, I do feel very confident and positive to continue to lose more weight and inches. I would like to thank the wonderful staff and doctors for being so friendly and for their ongoing support. I really couldn’t recommend NSC enough.’
Michelle was concerned about how quickly her weight had crept up (left) but after joining NSC, she reached her target weight of 10 stone 6 by her wedding in July (right)
Her impending wedding was the main motivation Michelle Bennett, from Bournemouth, needed to finally take control of her yo-yo dieting habits.
The 33-year-old confessed to trying different diets to lose weight and was mortified when she struggled to find clothes to fit her for a ski holiday.
She said: ‘No matter how hard I tried I could not get ski clothes to fit me. It was so embarrassing. I decided enough is enough and joined yet another slimming group and could squeeze into a size 18 by the time of the trip.’
However the trip turned into a disaster when on the first day Michelle fell. She broke her thigh bone and shattered her knee, which left in a wheelchair and using crutches her for the rest of the holiday.
My wedding dress had to be taken in by three dress sizes!
Back home her weight crept back up again and following an operation to reconstruct her knee she decided once she could walk she would get back on her weight loss journey.
Despite her best intentions her weight continued to fluctuate. ‘It was really depressing and I no longer wanted to go out or see anyone, I wasn’t sleeping well or eating properly and I felt useless.’
With her wedding planned for the summer Michelle began to see results; her doctors’ tips, guidance, alongside her weight loss medication, meant Michelle started to see results straight away.
‘Week after week my weight went down regularly and safely and still continues to do so. My wedding dress had to be taken in by three dress sizes!
‘I reached my target weight of 10 stone 6 by my wedding in July and I have lost 5 inches off my waist, 4 inches off each thigh, 7 inches off my back and 4 inches off each arm! It’s not really about the physical weight, it’s about being able to throw away my size 18 clothes and fit comfortably into a size 12, or squeeze into a 10!’
Charlotte, 23, saw her weight soar to 12 stone 10 pounds (left) but she has since slimmed down to a much healthier 10 stone 8 pounds with the help of NSC (right)
Fellow super slimmer Charlotte Dyett. from Bournemouth, revealed eating unhealthy microwave meals at work and binging on chocolate, crisps and biscuits most evenings was her downfall, which caused her weight to rise to 12 stone 10 pounds.
With the help of NSC the 23-year-old has ditched her unhealthy eating habits and now weighs 10 stone 8 pounds.
She said: ‘I would sit in bed and have a big binge most evenings eating a large bag of crisps, packets of biscuits and chocolate.
‘I have already lost 2 stone 2 pounds and now have a smoothie or breakfast bar in the morning, followed by salad and fruit for lunch and dinner will be pasta or chicken with vegetables. If I need a snack somewhere in between I will now have a small bag of skinny popcorn!’
What is the National Slimming Clinic?
The National Slimming Clinic (NSC) is a group of clinics across the UK that help people work towards their ideal weight with a combination of medically supervised food and exercise plans.
It comprises portion control, vital nutrients, energy and exercise, as well as offering an online forum where members can swap tips and advice.
Patients meet with their doctor on a weekly basis for consultations, weigh-ins, examinations and constant support.
NSC Clinics also offer a variety of slimming treatments including appetite suppressants, weight loss injections and natural slimming aids.