I lost seven stone after people thought I was pregnant, says Norfolk woman

Being mistaken as pregnant was the final straw for a weight-loss success story who has lost more than seven stone and is now launching her own class.

Joanna Gardiner, from Pulham St Mary, near Diss, has lost 7st 4lbs to drop down to a size 12 waist.

The 28-year-old was inspired to begin her weight-loss after hearing how much a friend of hers was eating and still losing weight with her local Slimming World group.

Jo said: 'A friend of mine explained how I could still eat mountains of the food that I like, and this came shortly after I was mistaken as being pregnant in a pair of stretchy size 22 trousers. I decided the time for action had clearly arrived.

'I was so apprehensive about joining the group, I kept imagining it to be something like the 'Fat Fighters' sketch in Little Britain. I was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like its comedy counterpart; in fact it was the complete opposite – warm, welcoming, supportive and encouraging.

'However I was horrified to discover I had reached exactly 18 stone.'

A week into her new and healthier way of eating, Jo had ditched her previous diet of mayonaise-filled white bread sandwiches and oven-ready dinners for freshly-cooked pasta dishes, steaks and home-made curries. Jo continued: 'I was beginning to worry that I could eat that much and lose any weight but I was delighted when I lost 4lbs in my first week.'

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Within 14 months Jo had reached her chosen target weight of 10st 10lbs and her long-forgotten size 12 figure, losing a total of 50 inches in the process.

She added: 'I used to suffer with terrible back ache and I was always tired – I would get out of breath just going up a flight of stairs.

'As I ate my way towards a slimmer me, all of the niggling aches and pains started to go away and my energy levels soared.

'Looking back it was hardly surprising considering that I had been carrying a whole extra person around with me!'

Now Jo is becoming a consultant for the Slimming World class at Pennoyers Centre in Pulham St Mary, starting from Wednesday, September 14 at 7.30pm.

Call Jo on 07900 430 856 if you would like to join the group.

Do you know someone in your community who has completed an impressive achievement? Call Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk