Ipswich woman 'feels free' after impressive 9 stone weight loss
- Credit: Denise Calver
A woman from Ipswich who was uncomfortable and suffered from high blood pressure says losing almost half her body weight has "freed her mind and spirit".
Denise Calver, now 57, weighed just over 18 stone when she joined Slimming World in March 2010 after not wanting to be "frumpy and 50".
Mrs Calver had high blood pressure and was on medication, which was a worry, but generally she felt uncomfortable and wanted to do something about it.
She said she had a "lightbulb moment" and has been 100% committed ever since.
With the help of Slimming World, and her first consultant Claire Bright, Mrs Calver managed to lose seven stone, then eight, and then eight-and-a-half, smashing each of her targets to get down to nine stone and 5lbs today.
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She has kept the weight off for more than nine years, and says she feels "free" and "happy inside" and never wants to lose this feeling.
"I had never struggled with confidence," said the former supervisor.
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"I wasn't a shy person, but when people were taking photos or at family gatherings, I used to stand at the back.
"I would wear big baggy jumpers and cardigans, with a big handbag to hide behind in photos."
Mrs Calver had tried many diets in the past, but says she has become so passionate about Slimming World because of how educational it has been.
She said: "I worked long hours so I ate a lot of oven chips, oven pizzas and baked beans. It was very bland, beige and boring.
"Now it's completely different - the food I eat is so colourful, healthy and fresh. My plate is a rainbow of colour and it makes me feel so good."
Mrs Calver, who has also become a vegetarian, said she "enjoys every day" and is loving being able to wear whatever she wants.
"It frees your mind and your spirit," she said.
"It really has been an eye opener, and I will never go back."
Originally, Mrs Calver hadn't done any exercise since school, but once she started to lose the weight she joined the gym and has since fallen in love with all of the classes. She also walks between 10 and 11 miles a day as she doesn't drive.
She still gets weighed every week as she wants to stay "on track" and her husband has managed to lose five stone from eating the meals Mrs Calver cooks.
She said her second consultant, Michelle Hood, has kept her motivated to keep the weight off - which is half the challenge - and she has never looked back.