A formerly downhearted Dromore woman has forged a new life after shedding the better part of five stone in weight.
Julie Potts described as “miserable” the life she led after her weight ballooned out of control to almost 17 stone.
Now, though, she has a new lease of life for which she thanks the Weight Watchers group who helped her find the determination to lose four stone and nine pounds.
“My eating had got totally out of control,” she said. “I was miserable and spent my days dressed in tracksuit bottoms and hoodies.
“But then I took the bull by the horns and went along to Weight Watchers.
“My leader Bernie was a life-saver. She is down to earth and always says in order to be successful it’s our lifestyle we have to change, not a short-term, quick-fix diet.
“I learned in class that it is okay to have a bit of what I fancy, the importance of being aware of exactly how much I eat and the necessity of moving more.
“Before joining I would have taken the dogs for a walk but I was kidding myself - it was a dander! I started to put an inch to my step and started power walking and I am just coming to the end of the ‘Couch to 5k’ running programme. Never did I think that I would be out running 5k and, better still, enjoying it.
“I love shopping for clothes now instead of it being a chore. I have gone from a size 18 to a fitted size 12.”
Julie’s tips for losing weight start with joining one of Bernie’s classes.
“Bernie goes way beyond what is expected of her,” she said. “She even brings us in home-baked goodies for us to sample. She is focused and determined to help each one of us individually on our journey.
“As a class we help each other with sharing different tips and stories and I must say we always have a bit of craic. She makes losing weight fun.”
Other of Julie’s tips include drinking water, setting small, realistic goals, writing down everything you eat and not giving up because you have one bad day.
Bernie’s class meets in St Colman’s Church Hall, Dromore on Mondays at 6.15pm.