A woman who was told she could be dead by 60 if she didn’t lose weight looks unrecognisable after shedding nearly six stone.
At her heaviest, Amanda Follit, from Woolton, tipped the scales at 17 stone 11lbs and enjoyed a diet of junk and convenience food due to her hectic lifestyle.
But when she started falling asleep at work and feeling constantly tired, Amanda took a trip to see her GP who diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes.
This was the wake up call she needed to start losing weight and in the space of nine months she managed to reverse her diabetes.
Amanda told the ECHO: “I went to the doctor because I felt tired everyday. I’d literally be doing something at my desk and I would find myself nodding off.
“I was living a hectic lifestyle and I felt it was impacting my work. That’s why I went to the doctors, not because I felt unwell.
“I put on weight by living a hectic lifestyle. It wasn’t like I was overeating, I was just eating junk.
“I had always been big all my life but this just escalated it and I didn’t even consider what I was eating.”
Three months after she was diagnosed with diabetes in September 2018, Amanda returned to the doctors to undergo further tests.
It was here that she was told she could have just 15 years left to live if she hadn’t started losing weight when she did.
She said: “To be told that I could be dead by 60 was just horrendous. It was purely through obesity.”
Amanda’s weight was also having a big impact on her osteoarthritis, leaving her unable to walk upstairs and needing the assistance of a wheelchair when boarding planes.
But the pain she was suffering from has now been significantly reduced thanks to her weight loss – and she has lost an incredible 5 st 10 lbs in total.
Amanda started her weight loss journey independently but when she hit a “plateau” in January last year, she decided to join Slimming World.
She now weighs 12 stone and has dropped four dress sizes, going from a size 22 to a size 14 in clothes.
Amanda said: “I’ve lost a person almost in weight, it has been a real life changer. My life is so much better as a result of it.
“It’s made me more aware and my family more aware of what they should be eating and what they shouldn’t.
“Slimming World isn’t about a diet, it’s an educational tool to get you to think about what you’re eating.
“Actually what I’ve done now just doing this is I’ve added at least 25 years on to my life which is incredible.”
Amanda said: “The arthritis was being impacted by my weight. Because I was carrying extra weight that had an impact on my joints, which was causing great pain because the joints couldn’t handle it due to the arthritis.
“There’s still pain there but not to the level where I can’t go up the stairs and I’m not mobile.
“For somebody who was really immobile before and didn’t do any exercise because it was so painful, I started by taking up yoga and then I moved onto dancing.”
Amanda is now planning to set up a platform to help others who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and show them the tools that helped her to reverse her diagnosis.
How Slimming World works
Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan allows members to eat an unlimited amount of low energy dense “Free Foods” such as fruit, vegetables, fish, lean meat, beans and lentils, pasta and potatoes.
Free Foods are low in energy density and higher in protein and carbohydrate, which helps to satisfy the appetite and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
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A recent survey of the general population who had tried calorie counting found that 72 per cent believed that counting calories took away from the freedom of enjoying food.
In a parallel survey of its members Slimming World found 75 per cent of respondents reported finding Food Optimising liberating and 81 per cent said that they’d learnt to cut calories without having to count calories.
For more information visit their website here.