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Your LIFE: WE'RE ALL GOING ON OUR.. Slimmer holidays; DIET.

Byline: BY KELLY STRANGE

I saw my pictures and wanted to cry

KELLY WOOD, 22, from Hartlepool, lost eight stone after seeing pictures of herself on holiday in 2003.

'I WAS smiling in every picture, but leafing through them I just wanted to cry. At the time I'd thought my big baggy T-shirt and long shorts hid the rolls of fat but the camera doesn't lie.

The truth was I looked awful. At 5ft 2in I weighed 18 and a half stone and wore a size 26 dress.

I was only 19 and had watched enviously as other girls my age paraded along the beach on Ascension Island in tiny string bikinis. I wished I could have worn one but the truth was I liked my food too much.

I'd always been the biggest girl at school and by the age of 15 I weighed 15 stone. But seeing the holiday pictures made me realise that if I ever wanted to be happy I had to lose weight. I joined Slimming World in 2003. Out went crisps and snacks and in came fruit salad and grilled chicken.

In a year I'd lost six stone and another year on I finally reached my target weight: 10 stone.

I binned my size 26 dresses and bought a new size 10 wardrobe. I was so much more confident and to top it all I found love. Dave Osborne, who's 21, worked at the same call centre as me and when he asked me out

I couldn't believe it, he was gorgeous.

But the slimming had left one problem - excess skin on my stomach. Last November my GP referred me for a tummy tuck on the NHS.

In March I had the op and now I do have the beach body I dreamed of.

My stomach is flat and wrinkle-free and Dave and I have booked a holiday to Ibiza to celebrate. This time I can't wait to see the pictures.'

For more information visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk

FAT FILE

Kelly Wood

HEIGHT: 5ft 2in

TOP WEIGHT 18st 7lb

WEIGHT NOW 10st 7lb

TOP SIZE 26

SIZE NOW 10

LOST: 8st

Other women sniggering at me on the beach was so upsetting

CAROL JORDAN, 50, from Essex, was so horrified by snaps of her sunbathing in Spain she lost seven stone.

'AS I flicked through the pictures of me lounging by the pool in Spain my fingers trembled. I wasn't just overweight, I looked like a beached whale - all 17 stone of me.

I was the manager of a beauty salon and though I may have been big I always thought I made the best of myself.

In the past I'd tried everything to lose weight. I was already 13 stone when I married Harry, a plumber, when I was 19. But it got worse after our two girls, Jaime, now 30 and Hayley, 25, were born. I was almost 18 stone and a size 22 when I tried the cabbage soup diet. When that failed I turned to slimming pills and in desperation even had my jaws wired.

That worked, I lost three stone. But as soon as the wires came off I put all the weight back on. Harry said he loved me and in his arms I felt oved but we adored our holidays and when I heard other women sniggering on the beach as I undressed I got really upset.

Harry tried to protect me from their comments but there was only one person who could do something about it. Me. Looking at the holiday snaps I decided to give it one last go. If it didn't work this time I vowed to be fat forever.

I signed up to Lighterlife after the holiday in 2003 and swapped all meals for milkshakes and soups.

In only six months I was 10 stone and dropped from a size 24 to a 12. But as summer 2004 approached and I started shopping for a new swimming costume I noticed the weight loss had affected my boobs. They'd shrunk from a 40FF to a flat 36D.

A year after reaching my target I decided to treat myself to an uplift. Now I love shopping for holiday gear. We're doing an Italian cruise this summer. Just the excuse I need for a nice new bikini.'

For more information visit www/lfit.co.uk and www.lighterlife.co.uk

FAT FILE

Carol Jordan

HEIGHT: 5ft 3in

TOP WEIGHT 17st 7lb

WEIGHT NOW 10st

TOP SIZE 24

SIZE NOW 10/12

LOST: 7st 7lbs

I'd cut out labels so my hubby couldn't see

DEBORAH PICKARD, 33, from Keighley, West Yorks, was left reeling by bikini shots on holiday in Turkey.

'LONG before the holiday that changed everything I was in denial about my weight. I didn't think I looked too bad but when we got home and had the pictures developed, the one of me sitting on the beach with acres of spare tyres spilling out from the too-tight bikini left me gobsmacked.

I'd been a trim nine stone before I had my son Connor, now 12. I gained four stone while I was expecting but worked hard to lose it after the birth.

Then it crept on again. Takeaways were a weekend treat and my portion sizes got bigger and bigger. At 5ft 7in and 14 stone, fat hung off every inch of my body. The shame of not being my old size 10 led me to cut out the labels in my size 16 clothes so my partner Dave Follows, who's 51, couldn't see them.

But even though I hated my body I still jumped at the idea when Richard suggested a holiday to celebrate my 30th. We went to Turkey but when I got all my beach gear down I was horrified. None of it fitted at all. I was almost in tears at the thought of having to go out and buy myself a whole new holiday wardrobe in a size 18.

Even after I saw those pictures it took me a few months to pluck up the courage to join a slimming class. In January 2004 I signed up to Slimming World. The green and red day-plan meant I could fill up on pasta and jacket potatoes and still lose weight.

In August 2005 I reached my goal of 11 stone and a dress size 10. I love the body I've got at last and I'm determined to keep hold of it.

For information go to www.slimmingworld.co.uk

FAT FILE

Deborah Pickard

HEIGHT: 5ft 7in

TOP WEIGHT 14st

WEIGHT NOW 11st

TOP SIZE 18

SIZE NOW 10/12

CAPTION(S):

Kelly Wood; Carol Jordan; Deborah Pickard PICTURES: JEREMY DURKIN/PHOTOFEATURES
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 13, 2007
Words:1122
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