Maxine, from County Durham, UK, has now been crowned Slimming World’s Woman of the Year 2018.
“I was born with a rare bone condition, called Blount’s disease, that affected my mobility and I started gaining weight from an early age,” Maxine told Slimming World.
“By the time I was 16, I was a size 24 and would always make excuses about why I couldn’t go out with friends. The sadder I was, the more I ate, and I’d think nothing of eating a whole tray of cakes, or takeaways night after night.”
After her doctor gave her a grave warning and a referral for a gastric bypass, Maxine vowed to find another way.
“Shortly afterwards, a Slimming World leaflet came through the door and it felt like a sign,” Maxine said.
She stated following the “Food Optimising” eating plan that Slimming World offered – swapping convenience foods for healthy home-made meals.
“I learnt how to make my favourite takeaway dishes from scratch, even a Slimming World-style kebab – it’s really satisfying and it tastes naughty, but it’s not at all,” Maxine said.
‘Every week after group I’d sit down and plan what I was going to eat. In my first year I lost 10st, and started going swimming – something I never thought I’d do. I bought a Fitbit and began clocking up the steps, even taking my nephew to the park to get in some extra activity.”
Maxine was able to marry her partner in a size 8/10 dress and described the day as “a dream come true”.
“I hope I’m proof to people that there’s never any amount of weight you can’t lose. Everything’s changed and I don’t hide away any more. I always say that Slimming World didn’t just save my life, it’s given me life,” Maxine added.