We're seeing less of Rebecca

EVENING Star reporter Rebecca Lefort's dramatic diet ends next month, and she is on track to have lost a staggering seven stone. The slimline result is already a weight off Rebecca's mind, let alone her body, but what will happen when she tries to eat again?

By Tracey Sparling

EVENING Star reporter Rebecca Lefort's dramatic diet ends next month, and she is on track to have lost a staggering seven stone. The slimline result is already a weight off Rebecca's mind, let alone her body, but what will happen when she tries to eat again? TRACEY SPARLING reports.

AS Rebecca Lefort poses in the little black dress (size 12) she's always wanted to wear, the end of her diet is now in sight.

Her image is very different from this picture of her at a size 22, when she weighed 18 stone. She has lost eight inches off her chest, 7.5 off her waist and 7.5 off her hips.

To some, the girl they once thought of as fat, is hardly recognisable today.

The 23-year-old couldn't be happier and said: “I will always look back on my early 20s as 'the years when I was fat,' but that's behind me now. I have just one stone three pounds to lose, to hit my healthy weight of 11 stone. I don't want to be stick thin because I love my curves!

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“I worry less about my size now, and looking back I can see that although I didn't get upset about it, my weight was a constant factor in my life. Being thinner is not just a weight off my body but it's a weight off my mind too.”

Many recruits to the LighterLife diet only stay on the medically-endorsed programme for 100 days, but Rebecca always knew her ambitious target to lose seven stone would take longer. The programme has run to seven months in her case, and come November she will start eating solid food again.

Since May she has existed on special nutrient food packs which she mixes up to become drinks and soups, and drinking water.

She said: “It is a controversial way of losing weight, and it prompts much debate, but I only did it after my doctor sanctioned it and I thoroughly researched it. I do have the feeling that some people are critical of what I'm doing, and disapprove of me not eating food, and maybe even my decision to talk about it so openly.

“I have been incredibly honest and told my experience how it is, the good, the bad and the ugly - so it's not all been positive.

“Quite a few people are now using words like 'thin' in relation to me, but I am still technically overweight. If I look in the mirror with my swimsuit on, I can still see where I need to shed some pounds. But I suppose as two thirds of the population is overweight, I will soon be thinner than most people - as long as I can stay there. People tell me stories of friends who have lost a lot of weight and couldn't keep it off, but I do feel my age is a positive factor. I am at a stage in my life where I can make a lasting change.”

Rebecca's physical transformation is gradually changing her life. She is getting used to life as a thinner person, on all sorts of levels. She said: “I was lying in bed the other day when I realised I could feel my spine on the mattress. That was really weird.

“People invite me to play sport, whereas they wouldn't have before. I am trying scuba diving which I wouldn't have had the confidence to do before.

“I can walk tall in the street, in the knowledge that people aren't going to comment about me. I enjoy shopping more because I can walk in to a store and be sure to find something which will fit me. I bought this black dress on holiday in a size 14, but I loved it so much I wanted to be able to wear it when I lost more weight. So I bought it in a size 12 and 10 too!

“I'm wearing the size 12 at the moment. I wore this dress to the pub with heels - it was totally inappropriate for the pub and I was the only one there so glammed up, but I felt fantastic.

“I felt special within myself. I didn't need anyone to say I looked good.

I'm not so self conscious any more. I have a bit more respect for myself now, and I think other people do too.

“People used to see me and assume I was a lazy slob, but now they don't make assumptions about my lifestyle or my personality from my appearance. It's lovely to have the freedom to have a Sunday morning lie-in if I want, without being judged by it!”

But she admits she is fed up with not eating now, so is looking forward to November 21 when the diet ends. She plans to lose three pounds a week until then.

Learning to eat again will be a gradual process to re-educate her mind as well as her body to accept food again. She will stay with the LighterLife programme, which will include healthy eating alongside continued counselling.

Rebecca said: “It's going to be tough when I start eating again. You don't give up food for seven months and then just go to go back to the way you used to eat.

“I don't really understand the science bit but I think I have to start with protein in the first week and salads. I won't be eating fish and chips the first day! And I definitely won't be able to eat roast potatoes with my Christmas dinner, but I should be able to have some turkey.

“The counselling has been so introspective, very much about me, me, me and I have really searched inside myself to find out some interesting things, and learn some lessons. For example, I thought that being thin made you more popular and I saw how important that is to me.

“I also saw how being fat became an excuse for me not to do things, especially sporty things but also to get out of meeting people. I used to think 'oh they won't want to meet me.'

“Now I remind myself how lucky I am in life, and how I do have control over my life.”

N

Read Rebecca's journey on her daily blog at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

500 -calories I would be getting a day if I ate all the food packs

81 -pounds I've lost in total. This is five stone and 11 pounds, or about 30 kilogrammes.

66 - the amount, in pounds sterling, this diet costs each week

40 - the BMI number which means you are 'morbidly obese', and I was just above it

27 -the percentage of my body weight I've lost

23 -weeks I have been doing the diet.

22 - the size trousers I was wearing at the beginning, and I also once had a size 24

18 -stones I weighed at the beginning

11 -stone that I want to end up weighing

9 -years that obesity shortness your life expectancy by

8 -of inches I've lost from my bust

7.5 -inches I've lost from my waist

7.5 -inches I've lost from my hips

4 -litres of water I'm supposed to drink every day

1 -weeks I had a planned lapse for, and ate some food while on holiday

0 -doctors told me I needed to lose weight

“And then there is all the stuff you can't quantify: how much happier I am, how much healthier I am, and how much my life has changed.”

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