Ipswich: Mum sheds half her bodyweight to claim national slimming crown

IPSWICH: A young mum will be crowned super slimmer of the year at a national awards ceremony tonight after shedding half her body weight – a whopping 11st 6lbs – in less than two years.

Joanne Dreher is today celebrating being half the woman she once was after losing 11st 6lbs – half her body weight – and dropping from a massive size 30 to a slender size 12.

The 35-year-old, who lives in Kinross Road, Ipswich, will be named Super-Fit Female Slimmer of the Year 2011 at a national slimming group awards ceremony in London tonight, where she will be given the award along with �1,000 in cash.

She had been overweight since she was a young child and was badly bullied at school as a result, but continued to pile on the pounds in her teens, buying size 18 clothes and missing out on going out with friends.

The super slimmer said: “When I met my husband I was probably still a size 18, but after having my first child, I went up to a 24 and after my second, I was in size 30 upwards.

“A couple of weeks after my second child was born, I stepped on the bathroom scales but they couldn’t weigh me because I was too big.”

Joanne was at least 22st 12lbs at that point and had just undergone surgery to remove her gall bladder because of gallstones – most likely caused by her weight – as well as being told she had permanently damaged her liver.

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“It just goes to show how much damage I was doing to myself,” said Joanne. “So that was a bit of a wake-up call as well.

“It just hit me that I had got young children and I wanted to be there to see them grow up.

“It was stopping me from doing stuff with my children as well, I couldn’t go on the swings or slides in case I got stuck, and I couldn’t run around and play games.”

Joanne started dieting in February 2008, just weeks after second son Daniel was born, and managed to lose 3st by early June that year.

At that point, she started going to exercise classes three times a week at Kesgrave High School while sticking to her strict diet.

She lost 9lbs within the first week of going to the class and reached her goal weight of 11st 6lbs in November 2009.

She added: “It’s an amazing feeling – it’s hard to put into words.

“Part of me still can’t believe it. I find myself picking up size 22s in shops and then wondering what I’m doing. I think because I’ve been overweight for so many years, it’s still sinking in.

“It’s a new lease of life for me and I don’t have to worry about things nearly as much as I used to.”

Since January last year, Joanne has been working as an aerobics instructor for her former slimming club, Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness, and teaches six classes a week.

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