A super slimmer who has shed more than 11st is celebrating after being named the region’s Woman of the Year.
Alison Berry, of Canning Street, Hebburn, has dropped from 22st 1½lb and a dress size 30-32 to 10st 10lb and a size 14 with the help of Slimming World.
The 57-year-old has now been voted Woman of the Year at the regional finals – spanning Berwick to Sunderland – at the Village Hotel, North Tyneside, on Sunday.
Alison, who has three children and two grandchildren, was put forward to the regionals after being voted Woman of the Year at her Slimming World group in Hebburn.
She said: “When they announced me as the winner, I didn’t know what had happened, it was just a blur and I couldn’t believe it. It felt like all the blood rushed to my head.
“I stood up and was given a sash and flowers and a certificate and it just felt brilliant. They asked me if I had any advice for others and I said people should definitely stay at the group for image therapy. If you’ve had a bad week you need the group, and if you’ve had a good week the group needs you.”
Alison, who joined Slimming World in October 2014, said she was humbled to be nominated alongside so many inspirational women.
She said: “There were some lovely ladies there and they all had brilliant stories so to be considered for this award, and to go on to win it was just amazing. I didn’t join Slimming World to win awards, I joined for the good of my health and so I could see my grandchildren grow up.”
Alison will now go on to the semi-finals at Slimming World’s headquarters in Derbyshire on October 2.
Around 50 regional finalists will be whittled down to 10 and if Alison is one of them, she’ll go on to the national Woman of the Year finals in Birmingham on November 5.
She said: “I’ll just have to do the same thing that I did at the weekend and hope that the judges like me.
“I hope I can take some of the stories of the women at my regional finals there with me because they were so inspiring. I just spoke from the heart at the contest and said how I really felt. It’s been a real uphill struggle for me but the view from the top is amazing.”
Alison gained weight after years of yo-yo dieting but was delighted to be able to fit back into her weding dress that she wore when she tied the knot with husband David in 1978, when she was 18.