Super slimmer sheds 'life changing' 8st

A SUPER slimmer who has lost a “life-changing” eight stone is now hoping to help others shed those post-Christmas pounds.

Jo Thewlis

A SUPER slimmer who has lost a “life-changing” eight stone is now hoping to help others shed those post-Christmas pounds.

Jo Dreher, 34, from Ipswich, had always been large and resigned herself to wearing bigger clothes.

Despite shedding a stone or two on occasional diets, she would always find herself back at her usual weight.

But it was when she developed health problems following the birth of her second son in February 2008 that she decided to take drastic action.

Jo, of Kinross Road, said: “I had always been big, ever since I was a little girl. I have never been small.

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“I thought diets didn't work but then I started thinking, 'What's the point in having a family if I'm not going to be around to watch them grow up?'”

A friend encouraged her to go along to a Rosemary Conley meeting and she started her weight-loss battle in June 2008.

With a daunting eight stone to lose, she decided to tackle her weight loss in small stages, losing 9lbs in her first week.

“The first meeting was lovely,” she said. “Everyone was so kind as you are all in the same boat.

“We just took it a stone at a time and the results are amazing.”

By combining healthy eating with regular exercise, Jo's weight dropped from 19st 9lbs to 11st 9lbs, reaching her target weight the week before Christmas this year.

The mother-of-two leapt off the scales having finally reached her goal on December 14.

“I never thought I would get here in my wildest dreams,” she said. “It has been completely life changing.

“My fitness levels have really gone up and I feel unbelievable.”

Instead of squeezing into size 28 clothes, she is now a 12 to 14 dress size and cannot recognise her own reflection.

As well as transforming her appearance, Jo is thrilled she can keep up with her two young sons, William, four, and Daniel, now nearly two.

“I have so much energy,” she said. “There are so many simple things I can do with my boys.

“My confidence is unbelievable. When I catch my reflection in shop windows, I take a double look as I can't believe it's me.”

Thanks to her experience, she has now trained as an instructor and plans to help run new Rosemary Conley classes in Ipswich in January.

She said: “It has been hard and it is not quick but, if you have got the determination, it really does work.

“If I can do it, anyone can.”

The leader of Jo's Rosemary Conley class, Kay Fletcher, said helping Jo reach her eight stone goal was one of her proudest moments.

“I am thrilled for her,” she said. “Jo has totally changed her life. She's a different person now.”

Jo will help run new classes at St Joseph's College in Emmanuel Close, Ipswich beginning at 6.15pm on January 8 and Chantry Sports centre starting at 6.15pm on Wednesday, January 6.