A glamorous gran who used to used to gorge on microwave meals lost nearly five stone to swerve a looming knee operation and look fabulous at her son’s wedding.
Janet Newell, 58 who lives in Watermead, was determined not to ‘wear a tent’ for the wedding of her 32-year-old son Paul Jackson. And when doctors told her that her weight was putting pressure on her joints to the extent that she would need a knee replacement, she took matters into her own hands.
In 18 months Janet dropped from 16 to 11 stone, shaving off a whopping five dress sizes.
She now wears a svelte size 12, when she used to squeeze into a 22.
She said: “I always felt that the young, slim assistants in the shops were sniggering at the fat woman who could only buy yet another variation on black baggy trousers and a floaty top, albeit with some glitter on it.
“In fact, most of the stores didn’t even stock my size. My old school friends had contacted me and asked me to meet up with them, but I always made excuses not to, as I didn’t want them to see me like that.”
Janet decided that she would get help with her weight loss, by attending the Slimming World group at the Salvation Army at Meadow Way with a good friend - but she admits that she did have misgivings about joining at first.
She said: “It wasn’t easy walking through those doors, and if I had been on my own I’m not sure could have done it.
“But the warmth and welcome I received from the consultant made me feel confident that I had joined a caring organisation.”
She added: “I lost 4lbs in my first week.”
Eighteen months on, and 4.5 stones lighter, Janet felt confident enough to attend a reunion with her old school friends.
She now enjoys more confident weekends away, and social events which often involve shopping for clothes.
But the icing on the cake, was being able to wear the outfit of her dreams at her son’s wedding, where she proudly stood on the front row for wedding pictures on the happy day.
She said: “I have now ‘bought’ some extra time for my knee replacement as I am no longer putting so much pressure on my knee.
“I am able to actively get involved with my grandchildren and no longer get breathless. I have so much more energy and I have now lost the weight of my two grandsons and am able to fit one inside each leg of my pre-Slimming World trousers!”
Janet has been so inspired by her own weight loss that she hopes to spur others on, by re-launching the Salvation Army class which takes place on Thursdays at 5.30pm.
She is taking over following the retirement of previous leader Ann Power.
Janet said: “We are open 52 weeks a year, and many people only decide to join us after Christmas. But it is perfectly possible to drop a dress size for those Christmas parties if you start now.”