Jill's weight loss triumph

JILL ASHFORD is an inspiration to anyone who wants to make losing weight their New Year's resolution.In twelve months she has shed nine stone, dropped nine dress sizes and bagged herself a new man, turning her life on its head.

JILL ASHFORD is an inspiration to anyone who wants to make losing weight their New Year's resolution.

In twelve months she has shed nine stone, dropped nine dress sizes and bagged herself a new man, turning her life on its head.

When she first decided to lose weight she had hit rock bottom, had no confidence and rarely went out with her friends.

But when she finally plucked up the courage to go to her first diet meeting last January she could never have imagined what a dramatic impact it would have on her life.

As well as the obvious health benefits, on her first night out to a club in 20 years she met Pete Phillips - the man she is now going to marry. The pair got engaged in December after meeting in August.

The 41-year-old said: “I'd been on my own for 12 years and I think it was the first time I'd been out to a club for about 20 years.

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“I definitely think it was fate because Pete had been due to go out on a different night and then it got cancelled for some reason, so he shouldn't have even been out.

“If I had not lost the weight I would not have met him though as I would not have had the confidence to go out.

“My friends used to craze me to go out but I'd always refuse, I didn't want to be the fattest person in the club.”

Now, as she prepares to spend 2007 with her new fiancée by her side, Miss Ashford, is looking forward to her first ever holiday abroad and says life could not be better.

She said: “When I went to my first Weightwatchers meeting I weighed 22 stones 4lbs and was a size 32.

“I had hit the bottom. I did not have any confidence and was so worried about what I looked like that I didn't want to leave the house.

“I'm now a size 16 and have got about 2lbs to go before I've lost nine stone.

“It's amazing to be able to go and buy clothes from whichever shop I like. It's still a bit of a novelty so I've been having a great time in the sales!”

Miss Ashford, of Eccles Road, said: “I've never been away before so it's going to be very special.

“I've still got another three stone to lose but hopefully I will be able to get out on the beach in my swimming costume, which is something I thought I would never do.”

Have you made an unusual New Year's resolution? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

The world's heaviest man was Joe Brower Minnoch who weighed more than 100 stone when he was admitted to the University Hospital in Seattle in March 1978.

He stayed in hospital for over two years and weighed 216kg (34 stone) when he was discharged. He was re-admitted in 1981 having gained 89kg (34 stone). He died in September 1983, aged 42, weighing 362 kg (57 stone).

The world's heaviest living man is Manuel Uribe from Mexico who weighed in at 94st earlier this year - as heavy as five baby elephants. He has since lost 25st.

A family from Guernsey became Britain's biggest losers after they shifted more than half a ton of flab when nine of them had their stomachs stapled.

First to have the surgery was Martyn Thorne, 47, who weighed 35st, he was soon followed by his brother, sisters, daughter, sister-in-law, nephew, two cousins and one of his cousin's wives.

Between them the family have shed a whopping 100 stone.

THEN:

Breakfast - crisps and chocolate biscuits

Morning snack - more crisps, more biscuits

Lunch - Big sandwiches with lots of butter

Dinner - Home-cooked food but large portions and lots of pies and pastry-based dishes

Snack - More crisps, biscuits, peanuts

NOW:

Breakfast - a bowl of porridge

Lunch - no bread, crackers with low-fat cheese spread, fruit

Snack - fruit

Dinner - smaller portions, substitute sausages and red meat for lean meat like chicken

Snack - more fruit