A super slimmer is celebrating after shedding 10 stone and getting back into her wedding dress.
Alison Berry, of Canning Street, Hebburn, tied the knot with husband David at the town’s St Cuthbert’s Church on June 24, 1978, when she was 18.
But after years of yo-yo dieting, the 56-year-old gained weight until she tipped the scales at 22st 1½lb and wore a dress size 30-32.
After signing up to Slimming World, Alison, who has three children and one grandchild, with another on the way, says she’s got her life back.
She now weighs just 12st 1lb and wears a size 16.
She said: “I found my wedding dress in a box the other day and just thought I would try it on and I just couldn’t believe it when it fit.
If by reading this, one person is spurred on to lose weight then I’ve done my job. I feel amazing and I’m loving life and if I can help one more person feel like that then I’ll be happy.Alison Berry
“I was quite emotional about it. It was a week before my 19th birthday when I got married, so to think I’m back to the size I was then is amazing.
“My health is so much better now as well. I used to have extremely high blood pressure and take quite a lot of tablets, but it’s much better now and I don’t take anything.”
Alison joined Slimming World in October 2014 after becoming a grandmother to Joseph gave her the push she needed to lose weight.
“After Joseph came along and I was looking after him and he started to toddle about, I thought to myself that if I don’t lose weight, I’m going to miss out on doing so much with him like running around the park and playing with him.
“I also thought that if I didn’t do something, I might not get to see him grow up.
“I think I started putting weight on after I got married and had the kids and I’ve yo-yo dieted for years.
“I’d lose a few stone and think it was going well and then I’d slip and put the weight and even more back on.
“Joseph gave me that shove that I needed and my daughter-in-law Abby said she wanted to go to Slimming World and asked me to go with her. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose.”
Alison, who has been named Woman of the Year and Miss Slinky by her group, lost 5½lb in her first week and hasn’t looked back since.
She says that losing weight has given her her life back and spurred her on to do things she never had the confidence to do before.
“I was scared to get on a plane in case I couldn’t get the seatbelt fastened and had to ask for an extender, but the last time I was on a plane was in October, and I actually had to tighten the seatbelt.
“Whenever we’d go somewhere like Alton Towers, I was scared to go on any of the rides, even though I love them, in case I got turned away because I was too big or the safety rails on the seats wouldn’t come down over me, but I can go on all the rides now.
“I was even sat with Joseph in his little wigwam the other day - I probably could have worn that as a dress before!
“If by reading this, one person is spurred on to lose weight then I’ve done my job.
“I feel amazing and I’m loving life, and if I can help one more person feel like that then I’ll be happy.”