I'm going to be a brand new woman! Mum determined to lose weight.
TWO years ago Ann Willers stubbed out her last cigarette but there was still one problem posing a serious risk to her health - her weight.
Like many Teessiders Ann has tried and failed to lose weight over the years with various diets.
But after signing up to the Gazette's Get a Better Life campaign the 60-year-old from Marton has declared that this time nothing is going to stop her.
The mum-of-three decided she had to make some changes after losing a number of friends to heart disease and strokes - conditions which cause more than 500 early deaths on Teesside every year.
And she was spurred into action by the Get a Better Life campaign as she believes it will make her stick to her pledges to do more exercise, lose weight and eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
"I would like to lose at least two dress sizes," said Ann, who is currently a size 18/20.
"This year I really want to focus on being more healthy and generally fitter.
"It is so scary at my age that I am losing friends from strokes and heart attacks."
The retired primary school teacher signed up to the campaign when it was launched three weeks ago and has already lost 6.5lbs.
"Once I start doing well I think that's it. That's one of the reasons I signed up - to make me stick at it."
Ann has enrolled with a local Slimming World group and has started going to the gym and doing aqua aerobics and pilates.
"I can always think of a million things to do rather than go to the gym, like cleaning windows or gardening, but at least I'm being active," said Ann who now makes sure she gets her fix of fruit and vegetables by making a weekly menu before she does the shopping.
Although she hates to admit it, she has been less breathless since she gave up smoking and she knows that if she sheds the extra weight too she will feel like a new woman.
"I don't want to be a bikini wearing 60-year-old and I can't run a marathon. I really just want to be fitter and to be able to feel a lot more confident so I don't have to hide myself under baggy t-shirts."
To make your pledge visit www.getabetterlifecampaign.co.uk