'People can't believe I am the same person' - Hebburn grandmother is now unrecognisable after shedding an incredible 11 STONE
A 22 stone grandmother who was worried she wouldn’t see her grandchildren grow up has shed half her body weight.
Alison Berry, from Hebburn, has lost a life-changing 11st 7lb with Slimming Word after reaching the point where she couldn’t even cut her own toenails.
The 60-year-old joined the group Hedley Community Hall in October 2014 weighing 22stone 1.5lb with the aim of losing enough weight so that she would no longer struggle to play with her grandson.
By May 2016 the mum-of-three had managed to shed an incredible 11st 7lb and now weighs 10st 8.5lb.
The former school cook is now almost unrecognisable to her former colleagues – having shrunk from a size 32-34 to a healthy size 12-14.
By swapping takeaways, sugary drinks and chocolate for home cooked meals, Alison was able to shed the weight that has held her back in life.
Now a thrill seeker – taking on the likes of treetop challenges – Alison only wished she had changed her lifestyle years ago.
She said: “My weight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I like to fit, to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath.
“I feel like a new woman since losing weight – in fact, I look so different that people who I haven’t seen for a while often can’t believe I’m the same person.
“For me though it’s the change on the inside that’s been the greatest – I’m happier, healthier and much more confident now.”
And her achievements have even seen her win Slimming World’s ‘Club 50’ award – which celebrates the company’s 50th birthday – and is awarded to those members who have lost an incredible 50% of their starting weight.
Alison continued: “I’ve been overweight for so many years of my life.
”I’m so proud and happy to win this award.”
Throughout her journey Alison has been documenting her weight loss and meals on Instagram under the account disco_diva59_sw and has more than 7,000 followers she hopes to inspire.
She even travels across the North East giving talks at other Slimming World centres in the hope of giving something back to the group which changed her life.
Alison said: “I’ve made so many friends at the group and I honestly don’t think I could have done it without their support each week.
“People think slimming means going hungry, eating nothing but salad or obsessively counting every calorie you eat, but it’s not like that at all at Slimming World.
“People are always surprised at how much food I have on my plate and can’t believe I’m losing weight eating so much without ever feeling hungry.”
Alison’s also more active and walks more than 10k a day, enjoys dancing and adventures with her grandchildren, Joseph Berry, six, and Alania Berry, three.
And after struggling for years with health problems related to her weight including high blood pressure – Alison is now medication free.
She said: “I was on so many tablets and my blood pressure was through the roof, but now I am on no medication.
“It’s totally life changing.”