Christine Gardner used to have a wardrobe bulging with clothes that she couldn’t fit into but couldn’t bear to throw away.
After losing 2 1/2 stone Christine couldn't wait to shop for a whole new wardrobe and give away her 'fat clothes'.
‘Like anyone who is overweight, I had a problem when it came to buying clothes and had all sorts of different sizes hanging in my wardrobe – most of them unworn because they were too small or because they were baggy and unflattering,’ says Christine.
She knows only too well the truth behind a recent survey that showed the average women has around 22 garments in her wardrobe that she will never wear. In addition to this, the survey revealed women across the UK spend more than £1.6billion on clothes they will never wear but hang on to.
But after losing two and a half stone, Christine can get into her the outfits that used to feel too tight and hang unworn.
‘I used to buy clothes to hide in rather than wear,’ says Christine, who put on weight when she gave up her full time job to care for her mother.
A photograph of her with her three sisters and mum at a wedding was the spur that led her to slim down.
'My sisters and my mum looked fabulous but I had squeezed into this skintight shift dress and looked terrible next to them,’ says Christine.
‘I used to worry people described me as ‘the fat woman’ – it made me cringe. And I was the fat woman in that photograph.’
When another family wedding came up, Christine’s older sister persuaded her to join Scottish Slimmers.
‘I knew it was her kind way of saying 'you need to lose weight' so I said yes and have never looked back. In fact, the same shift dress in the unflattering wedding photograph was too big and has gone to the charity shop!'
'Now I love buying clothes that I want to wear rather than what hides me. I have joined a local gym and am back cycling again. My life is so different – I feel much healthier and happier.
'And I no longer fear the camera - photographs remind me how fabulous I look as well as feel,' Christine laughs.