As a mum of two, Lesley Wilkinson, from Carnoustie, admits that she buried her head in the sand for years and didn't really pay attention to her weight.'My children acted like a human cover-up,' laughs 46-year old Lesley, 'as I would grab them to stand in front of me if there was a camera anywhere in the vicinity!'I was mostly the one in charge of the camera and it wasn't until I was away on holiday to Tenerife in April 2015 with my parents and younger daughter, when I realised how big I had become.
I Struggled to Recognise Myself
'Someone managed to take a couple of photos of me - and there was one of me sitting down and I was really shocked and struggled to recognise myself. I'd gotten good at never actually looking at myself in the mirror, and it was only when I looked at these holiday pictures that I realised how big I had become and how much of an issue my weight was.'After that holiday and with her two daughters growing up, Lesley realised it was time for her to take action and lose the weight she had gained.'I had lived my life through my kids and realised I had to do it for me this time. My decision coincided with me having a dental brace fitted, after years of problems with my teeth. I decided to get them and my weight sorted once and for all.Lesley joined her local Scottish Slimmers class and has never looked back. At her heaviest, Lesley weighed almost 17 stone. Now she is a slender size 10 having lost over 6 stone.
I Ached All Over
'Before losing weight I ached all over. I had no energy and felt frumpy. I hated how I felt, I had no self-confidence whatsoever. Since losing the weight I have so much more energy and motivation to do new things. In fact I have actually started taking skiing lessons and I love it.'Now I love skiing although there is no way I could have learnt to ski when I was 6 stone overweight!'Lesley's husband Frank has booked a trip of a lifetime to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. 'He booked us a trip to New York and Las Vegas for our wedding anniversary', says Lesley. 'and by the time the trip came around, I was only a few pounds away from my Target Weight - I felt fantastic.
Grabbing Life with Both Hands
We had an amazing time, we walked everywhere in New York and when I got back I was delighted to find I hadn't put on an ounce!' Just goes to show how beneficial walking is for weight loss.These days Lesley is a brand new-person- 6 stone 9.5lbs lighter, 6 dress sizes slimmer and a whole lot of experience later.'Losing weight has changed my perspective on life. I'm now grabbing hold of it with both hands rather than sitting on the side lines, and I've never been happier!'