South Shields slimmer shed 13st and 10 dress sizes - while still on a diet of 'pizza and curries'
A last-ditch attempt to shift the weight before her 50th turned into a life-changing experience for a mum-of-five from South Shields.
Julie Ridley has shared her incredible success story after shedding 13st and 10 dress sizes in just 19 months.
Julie weighed 25st when she reached breaking point after being unable to fit through the turnstile on a day out to Holy Island with her grandchildren.
After 20 years of running around after her family she found cooking a chore and instead would grab food on the go.
“I was really tired and couldn’t walk anywhere without being out of breath,” said Julie, who was diagnosed with an under-active thyroid.
“I wanted to have a life, to be able to do things with my grandchildren. I had tried a few diets in the past but nothing had worked. I thought I was too old and too far gone.”
In March 2017 Julie joined Slimming World, began cooking her meals and started taking gradual exercise.
By October 2018 she reached her target weight of 12st 1lb, ahead of her 50th on December 6 last year.
“It was about getting myself into the right head space, learning more about food and realising that you don’t have to live off salads to lose weight,” she explained.
“I’ve basically done it on a diet of curries and pizza, just finding healthy versions of them.
“I’ve changed the way I eat, before I would open a jar of sauce, now I cook everything fresh.”
Julie continued: “It has completely changed my life, I’m like a different person. I feel amazing, I’m so much more confident and happier in clothes. I’ve gone from a dress size 30 to a size 12 and even fit into a size 10 dress.”
Now Julie is helping others shed the pounds with her new slimming group, Slimmers for All which launched in South Shields on Thursday, October 10.
“People need someone to tell them that they are on the right path,” she added.
“I use NHS guidelines and tell members to find healthy alternatives to their favourite foods.
“People say they can’t lose weight because they love food, but I have lost weight because I love food.”