A woman who once tipped the scales at more than 25 said she feels 40 years younger after losing 13kg.
Fiona Neilson, 64, from Dumfries, Scotland, suffered from heart failure and was unable to walk around her house without gasping for breath.
However, at the age of 60, the retired business improvement executive decided she wanted a new life and started trying to lose some weight.
She struggled until she found Slimming World in October 2021 – and by June 2022 she had lost 4lb 7lbs.
Fiona Neilson, 64, pictured here before losing weight. At her peak, she says she weighed more than 25 stone
Earlier: According to the 64-year-old (pictured before the weight loss) carrying the extra pounds meant she struggled to walk around her house without breathing
After: Fiona has now lost a 13.5 and halved her dress size, going from a size 28 to a size 14
Fiona’s diet before
11:00 a.m.: Ham roll
Lunch: Sandwich, chips and sometimes a pie
Dinner: Big home cooked meal with cream and fatty sauces, wine
Fiona’s diet after
Breakfast: Fruit and yogurt
Lunch: Chicken salad
Dinner: Slimming world recipes, for example chicken curry, lasagna, spaghetti bolognese or macaroni cheese (and soft drinks after removing the wine)
Now, she’s halved her dress size – down from a size 28 to a size 14 – and says she’s never been happier.
Fiona said: “I’m 64 and have been overweight for most of my adult life. I never thought I could lose weight and be skinny and happy.
“In 2018, when I got on the doctor’s scale, I weighed more than the scale could take – so I knew I weighed more than 25 stone.
“It’s like I’ve lost 40 years and I’m young again, I can walk and join things and life is completely different.
“Joining Slimming World meant it just clicked and completely changed my life. Even if you don’t succeed the first time, keep coming back and trying again.’
Fiona suffered from a number of problems due to her weight she finds it difficult to even walk around her house without breathing.
Then in 2018, she was diagnosed with heart failure and says the diagnosis came as a shock but acted as a ‘light bulb moment’ for her.
“In 2018 I was really seriously ill, I was not far from being dead,” said Fiona. “I had heart failure, but I didn’t realize it and I was very shocked when I was diagnosed.
“I couldn’t breathe and it was getting harder and harder to walk around the house.
Fiona, pictured here before she lost the weight, says she was ‘really seriously ill, I wasn’t too far from being dead’ because of the extra pounds.
The retired business improvement executive says she first started trying to lose weight after having a ‘light bulb moment’, telling herself ‘if you don’t do something about it, you’ll be dead’
“It was like a light bulb moment – if you don’t do something about it, you’re going to be dead.”
She began following a calorie deficit diet, where she ate less food than her body needed to function.
However, she tried to follow the strict regime without any support and after losing some weight she gave up – piling back on to 4.
It wasn’t until a friend invited her to a slimming world meeting that she realized there was another way to lose weight.
“I decided that I would try my hardest to lose weight by trying to count calories myself.
“It was really demoralizing to do it alone at home and deprive yourself of the things you really enjoy.
Fiona, pictured here after shedding the stones, says trying to lose weight alone was ‘demoralizing’, which is why she joined Slimming World.
Good health: Fiona says her health has improved dramatically since losing weight and her heart failure has gone from severe to moderate
“A friend of mine said she was going to join Slimming World and before I thought I said I was coming too. I didn’t think it would work, but oh my, what a difference.
“Before I knew it, I had lost four stone and my BMI was under 30.”
She also quit drinking, as wine is high in calories and Fiona says she would rather eat good food instead.
“My heart failure has gone from severe to moderate and now I’m only in the heart failure range – my health has improved so much.
“It took me a total of four years, but once I found the thing that worked for me, it took off.”