Two Shropshire women loose more than 15st and inspire others

Two Shropshire women are celebrating losing more than 15 stone between them as part of National Obesity Week.

Dawn McMahon, 48 of Albrighton, and Cheryl Walne, 44 of Wellington, Telford, said they want to encourage people in Shropshire who are overweight to make a change.

The women, who have been members of the Telford weight loss group LighterLife, based at Stafford Park, said this national week is the perfect occasion to show what can be done.

Mrs Walne decided to join the group about a year ago after overcoming a serious illness but never shifting the weight she gained. She has since lost 10 stone.
She said: “Twenty-five years ago I had a muscle illness which left me bedridden for four years, I took steroids and became twice the woman my husband married.

“When my health improved I planned to live my life to the full, I did a few diets but never got anywhere.

“I looked at it like an alcoholic, I was a food-aholic and I had to take the food away.
“I haven’t looked back since, it is the counselling group that has made the difference, it is superb.”
The mother-of-two, who works as a neo-natal matron in Birmingham, has dropped from a dress size 26 to a 14.

She said she now finds herself walking past shop windows and looking at the reflection, wondering if it is really her.

“I am 44 but I feel 24,” she added.

Dawn McMahon, who works in administration at a construction firm in Cannock, joined the group in June last year after facing up to the fact she was about to lose her job.
She said: “I knew my job was coming to an end and I was going to have to go out on the job hunt but I didn’t have the confidence.

“I don’t think it would have been as easy if I hadn’t lost the weight, but I started my new job in December.

“It was health reasons too, my back and knees were hurting, it was almost like I had given up on ever wearing high heels again - and I am going to become a grandmother this year too, I want to be an active grandmother.

“It is like I have got my life back now.”

The mother-of-three weighed 17 stone three lbs when she first joined the group and now weighs about 12 stone, dropping from a size 22 dress to a size 14.
She said she had been on diets all her life but felt hopeless before.

“I’m feeling amazing, it has transformed my life,” she added.

“I want it to be long term this time, I don’t feel like I am on my own because the group is brilliant and so supportive.”
LighterLife in Telford is run by 56-year-old Sally Harris from Whitchurch and is open to people from across the county. It meets every Tuesday evening and Friday morning at Cornerstone House, Stafford Park 13, Telford.

Members pay a weekly amount for the group meetings and food packs on either the Total programme, which is total meal replacement, or the Lite programme, which is three packs a day plus a healthy meal.

Mrs Harris said: “I am so pleased for Dawn and Cheryl, they have both done a great job and are looking fantastic for it.
“But it doesn’t stop here. They will keep coming to the groups and I will continue to support them.”


Pete White Pete White

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