'It's not been plain sailing' - Retired teacher reveals what life is like after losing 72lbs
PUBLISHED: 13:07 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:24 28 February 2018
A retired teacher has turned her life around after joining a popular slimming group.
In 2013, Linda Dean from Stratton Strawless was forced to retire from her profession due to ill health - she was wheel chair bound, with her ankles in plaster and her blood pressure creeping dangerously high. She was also suffering with asthma and type two diabetes.
A combination of these factors caused her weight to go up to 17 stone.
She knew something had to be done, so taking action she joined the Hellesdon Weight Watchers group.
The 60-year-old said: “I was always a big child, the odd one out in my family. As a teenager I started dieting, lurching from prescription diet pills to crash diets.
“In reality, for my height, I wasn’t so overweight but it was the beginning of years of self disbelief and a self view of a fat person. The only real time I lost weight was when I joined Weight Watchers.
“I started my first meeting in Norfolk after my cousin from Canada visited. I hadn’t seen him since I was in my twenties. We had a lovely reunion. Then he sent me one of his photos. I didn’t recognise the old, fat woman in it.”
After working hard and losing a total of 72lbs, Mrs Dean’s health began to return to normal.
She added: “I really succeeded, I was awarded a gold membership by Lisa Pratt my coach. It’s not been plain sailing. Every holiday I go on, I gain weight. I have to work so hard to get back to it.
“I’ll always be large, after all I’m 5ft 9in tall with size 10 feet! However, I’m no longer diabetic, my blood pressure is normal. I’m no longer asthmatic and my cholesterol is also near normal.
“I still have tendinitis but I’m so much lighter. Before, I was like an old woman having to be pushed everywhere and helped in and out of the bath. I couldn’t shower due to the casts and I couldn’t get out of the bath as I my upper body strength wasn’t enough to lift 17 stone. But now I I can lift myself anywhere.”