A size 22 businesswoman who at 19st 7lb struggled to climb stairs and was terrified that catching Covid could kill her shed 5st 1lb and now plans to start Zumba and salsa dancing.
Ashamed of her bulges, Sharon White, 47, who runs a business with her family maintaining swimming pools, says her turning point came in June 2020 while staying at a hotel, when she could barely make it up the stairs.
Following a severely unhealthy regime, she was living on 10 to 12 cups of coffee a day and only eating at night, when she would gorge on crisps and takeaways.
But after Sharon, who lives in Great Totham, Essex, with her husband, Craig, 51. and their children Chloe, 24, and Callum, 19, joined the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, she transformed her lifestyle, saying: “I’m like a different person.
“Before I started the diet, I was embarrassed and ashamed of my weight. I struggled to walk long distances and to climb stairs at work without losing my breath. I realised that if I didn’t make a change, my physical health would only get worse.
“I didn’t eat anything until the evenings. I just lived on 10 to 12 cups of coffee a day and then I would eat everything at night.”
She added: “I’d have a big bag of Doritos, a tub of ice cream and two bags of chocolate peanuts.
“Often we’d get a takeaway, too, because I hate cooking. If it was an Indian, I’d have a korma, naan and pilau rice. Looking back now, I’m shocked by how much I was eating.”
Weighing 19st 7lb, at 5ft 5in, Sharon’s body mass index (BMI) used to gauge a healthy weight, was 45.4, compared to the NHS healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9, making her obese.
She admits that when the Covid pandemic hit, when the public was being warned that obese people were likely to become more seriously ill, she was scared that her size would make her particularly vulnerable.
She said: “I was terrified that I’d end up hospitalised if I caught it. This was before the vaccine was available and they were saying obese people would probably be hit hardest by the virus.
“I knew I was at risk due to the implications of being obese. After being diagnosed with patella femoral osteoarthritis – which is very painful arthritis in the kneecap – I already had existing physical health problems, which my weight weren’t helping.”
She added: “I constantly felt anxious and worried about my physical health and the possibility that my weight would hold me back from receiving vital treatment when I needed it.”
With her arthritic knee seeing her at times forced to use crutches and even a mobility scooter, after the incident in the hotel, Sharon finally knew it was time to change.
She said: “I decided to try The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan and my husband lost a couple of stone, too, in solidarity with me.”
She added: “It was great to have him do it with me, as we pushed each other on.
“I switched my food to the Cambridge Weight Plan diet bars, making sure to eat one at mealtimes and the weight started to fall off.”
After eight months of sticking to the weight loss plan, Sharon stepped on the scales and was delighted to see she had lost 5st 1lb and could wear a dress size 14.
She said: “I still can’t believe it, sometimes. I look in the mirror and expect to see the old me.
“I feel so much healthier and I’m able to do so much more now.
“After losing the weight, I also had surgery on my knee in June 2021. It was an open exploratory of the join and doctors said it wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t lost weight.”
She added: “Because we were in lockdown when I started my diet, a lot of family and friends didn’t see me while I was losing weight, so they can’t believe their eyes when they see me now.
“They tell me that I look amazing, I’m not great at accepting compliments. I feel a bit awkward when people comment, but it also feels really nice to know that other people have noticed how far I have come.”
Sharon still uses the weight loss food products as she is hoping to lose around 6st in all, but admits she cannot resist the occasional takeaway.
She said: “I get a kebab as a treat but I only have the meat, not the bread.
“If I have an Indian then I’ll get a salad and put a bit of korma sauce on it. I want to enjoy nice things within reason.”
Sharon says her newfound confidence has also encouraged her to take up old hobbies again.
She said: “I’m really excited to take up Zumba or salsa classes in the future, as I used to be a dancer, and I would love to reignite my passion for dance. It’s also such a fun way to exercise.
“My physical and mental health has changed drastically. I now feel confident enough to shop in high street stores, whereas before I always shopped online for plus size clothing.
“And I can get up the stairs now without any problems, I’m like a new woman!”
To find out more about The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, please visit: www.one2onediet.com
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