An obese Scots mum who tipped the scales at 18 stone managed to shed a whopping seven stone with a little extra motivation from ‘beyond the grave’.
Mum-of-two Amanda Aitken piled on the pounds due to medication including long-term antibiotics, steroids and antidepressants she took for her battle with the respiratory condition COPD, which began in early childhood.
Amanda, who sometimes struggles to walk due to her lung condition, had resigned herself to being clinically obese and feared she’d never.
The 42-year-old feared she’d never be able to shift the weight after being mocked on social media over a photo of her at a wedding in September 2018.
But two years later, Amanda vowed to get her health in order, after a close friend raised concerns.
Inspirational friend Dawn Aitken suggested Amanda join Slimming World, before she tragically died aged 46 in January 2021.
Now Amanda says she’s still getting motivation from her pal from beyond the grave.
She said: “Dawn was a great friend, she was the one who encouraged me to join Slimming World because she was worried about my health.
“I can still hear her voice at the back of my head telling me to keep going when I lose another pound.
“Even when I am struggling, I can hear her and imagine her encouraging me to keep going.
She continued: “I have always struggled with my lungs, since I’ve lost weight, my quality of life has changed with everything else.
“I put on weight from medication, at one point I didn’t think I could lose any weight especially with reduced mobility.
“I was clinically obese but when I went in and out of hospital they were more concerned about my lungs.
“I lost weight over a year and three months.
“In lockdown everyone was putting on weight but I was losing it.
“I hope losing weight will slow down COPD.
“You have got to help yourself before other people can help you.”
Amanda often skipped meals and would only eat around 6pm, when she would gorge on a takeaway, or a high-fat meal such as macaroni cheese with chips.
Now Amanda eats breakfast, as well as a healthy lunch and dinner to keep cravings at bay.
She says eating more regularly, drinking more water and replacing semi-skimmed milk with skimmed has helped her lose the pounds.
Hubby Wayne, 45, who works as a chef, has taken up cooking the family Slimming World meals.
Now the mum, from Cumnock, East Ayrshire, is a svelte 10 stone 13lbs, but hopes to get down to her target weight of 10 stone, and has gone from a size 22 to a 12.
Her kids, Callum, 19, and Skye, 13, have seen a massive change in Amanda’s confidence.
She added: “They’ve noticed a difference – I can fit in clothes now.
“Before I would skip breakfast, wait until 6pm to eat, and then have packets of snacks.
“I didn’t eat, or I would binge eat.
“I’m hoping Wayne will buy me a new wedding ring because mine no longer fits.
Have you had your own struggles with weight loss? Share your story in the comments.
Amanda’s diet before
- Breakfast: two Weetabix with sugar and semi skimmed milk or three slices of white toast with butter and jam, or nothing
- Lunch: a sausage roll or white bread sandwich, or nothing
- Dinner: takeaway or macaroni cheese with full fat cheese and chips
- Snacks: share size bag of sweets and crisps
Amanda’s diet after
- Breakfast: porridge with berries and banana or one slice of wholemeal toast and a boiled egg
- Lunch: Baked potato beans and salad or chicken salad or homemade lentil soup
- Dinner: homemade diet cola chicken or five per cent fat turkey bolognese or homemade slow cooker lamb kebab with Aldi Slimwell chips
- Snacks: apple, orange, fun size Maltesers, packet of loaded fries or crisps
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.