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vital: Mum cooked herself slim ... BY SWAPPING READY MEALS FOR HEALTHY HOME COOKING.

Byline: By Maggie Mallon

WHEN Alyson Parker heard herself described as "hefty" she was understandably upset.

But the hurtful remark, made by an elderly resident in the home where she works, did spur her into losing weight.

"Deep down, I knew there was a lot of truth in that statement so I decided I had to get serious about slimming down," said Alyson, of East Kilbride.

The 42-year-old joined Scottish Slimmers, which she had last attended when her two daughters, now aged 24 and 17, were young children.

"I was 18 and a size eight when I had my oldest daughter, Michelle. The weight I gained during that pregnancy stayed where it was, which really surprised me," said Alyson. " But not enough to do anything about it.

"When Louise was born six years later, my weight increased again."

When daughter number three - Victoria, now seven - came along Alyson's weight ballooned again until she was wearing size 22.

By the time she joined Scottish Slimmers she was horrified to discover she weighed more than 15 stone.

"I got a real shock when I stood on the scales. I knew I'd put on weight but not that much," she said.

"At the end of the class, I had achat with the manager who suggested I lost half a stone at a time."

A week later she returned and found she had lost four pounds - and the week after that another four pounds.

Alyson added: "I'd lost my first half stone in only two weeks, which gave me a great boost. From then I lost two to three pounds a week."

The secret to Alyson's success was starting to cook again and following the Positive Eating Plan.

"Because I was no longer relying on convenience foods or ready meals, my husband and my daughters were eating more healthily, too," said Alyson.

"My oldest daughter lost a stone without even trying."

As Alyson got closer to her target weight, she had another reason to lose weight - her daughter's wedding.

"When Michelle told me she was getting married, I was so happy. I was determined not to be restricted to the outsize shops for my mother-of-the-bride outfit," she said.

After only 10 months, she reached her target weight - and was so delighted with her new figure she went on a shopping spree.

"For the first time in years, I could wear whatever I wanted instead of opting for a pair of black trousers and a black top to hide my bulges."

Two years later, Alyson is still 10 stone, 8lb.

"I'm so much happier with myself than I used to be," she admitted.

Alyson's husband, Frank, 42, is also delighted with the transformation.

"He thinks I look great, although sometime he jokes that he misses my curves," said Alyson.

Michelle's wedding was in June and Alyson had two reasons to be proud.

"My daughter looked so beautiful on her big day - and I felt great in the striking outfit I'd chosen," she said.

"If I'd still been a size 22, I'd have been so self-conscious about the whole event but being slim again, nothing was a problem.

Visit www.scottishslimmers.com

Name: Alyson Parker

Age: 42 Occupation: social care worker

From: East Kilbride

Height: 5'8"

Weight before: 15st 2lb

Weight after: 10st 8lb

Dress size before: 22

Dress size after: 12

Weight loss: 4st 8lb

CAPTION(S):

NEW WOMAN: Alyson after losing more than 4st; PRE DIET: Alyson was almost 15 stones
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 10, 2007
Words:577
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