Leanne Lovett had always struggled with her weight.
After years of misery and failed dieting attempts, the mum-of-three was at her heaviest ever, weighing 24 stone and 4lbs.
But it was a question posed to her by a relative that fuelled her to completely transform her life.
“What have you done to yourself?” the family member asked, and something within Leanne instantly changed, prompting her to get some help and join up with WW (the new Weight Watchers).
And now, after losing more than 11 stone and dropping an absolutely incredible six dress sizes, the Troon native says she can’t thank her loved one enough for the brutal reality check.
Leanne, 39, explained: “These are the words that stung, and finally made me realise that I had to do something about my ever-increasing weight, and poor health.
“This wasn’t said to hurt me but, but it really made me think about what people thought about me, and if this was a family member saying this, then what were other people saying.
“I’d battled for years, I’d even tried CBT therapy in the hopes of overcoming my problem, which sadly didn’t work for me, but instead it was those words….’what have you done to yourself’ ….. that made something click inside.
“I was now the biggest I’d ever been, and I was disgusted with myself, but it made me more determined.”
Leanne wasn’t without reservations at first but, thanks to the encouragement of another loved one, this time in the shape of one of her friends, she was soon on her way to starting her new chapter.
She added: “I was a busy mum with three daughters and my everyday life was becoming a real struggle. My husband works away during the week, meaning I’m at home alone looking after my three active girls.
“I was getting out of breath, exhausted, tired and found I was sleeping more – I really wanted to lose weight but more importantly get fit and healthy.
“I asked a friend for help, a friend who had lost weight and was really getting into fitness, so I knew she could help and felt comfortable speaking to her. She told me she had a plan and we would go out for a walk one night, and while out walking she told me we were going to WW (the new Weight Watchers).
“I wasn’t having it….I was not joining WW and starving myself!
“Like most people starting a ‘diet’ I wanted to eat before I got on the scales, because previously I was of the mindset that on a diet you were restricted, and I was going to feel cheated.
“I’d been on many diets before,even a rapid weight loss program which resulted in me losing five stone in five months and then gain 10 stone when I fell pregnant and began to eat normal food again.
“I was after a quick and easy fix.
“But with some encouragement, I finally plucked up the courage and determination, and joined WW.”
Leanne lost an amazing six stone during the initial days, before falling pregnant again and putting on four stone.
But she wasn’t about to let that put her off her challenge – far from it in fact, and after the arrival of her newborn, she was back at it.
She said: “This time around my weight loss was slow but I kept at it even and on the days I’d be fed up with the scales I tried to focus on the bigger picture.
“I would walk a little most days with my daughter in her buggy, until the time she wasn’t happy sitting for any length of time, and at this point I did what I could to stay active until the moment she started nursery and I had time to really focus on my fitness.
“As I became fitter, I’d not always see losses on the scales but would see a big difference in my shape and it was at this point I thought 11 stone lost would be my goal.”
She added: “My journey might have been longer than other people, but I do believe it’s taken this long to get my head in the right mindset.”
Luckily Leanne’s decision to trust her pal and take a punt on the professionals at WW ended up being one of the best she’s ever made, and she’s feeling better than she ever has.
But it’s her attitude to food that’s changed as much as her physical appearance, and that’s something Leanne now realises is key.
Leanne said: “WW has changed my life completely, and I can’t thank my coach Morag enough.
“I’ve gone from hardly being able to climb stairs to now running up them. I feel amazing, mentally strong and can now tackle anything that life throws at me.
“I love eating anything I want, although I have learnt that everything must be in moderation, and I can have cake if I’m sensible the rest of the day. Nothing is off limits if you track and stay active.
“I used to eat lots of chocolate, sweets, crisps, cakes and had no portion control, but WW has taught me to eat more, but change the foods I’m eating, and now I have lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, chicken, fish and eggs.
“I now do lots of fresh home cooking, which all my family love. Healthier me healthier family.”
She added: “At my heaviest I was wearing a size 24, but now I’m fitting into a size 12, and loving the new me.
“I also love the fact that I’m a healthy role model for my daughters, and I teach them that its okay to have what you want…. but in moderation.
“I hope their new mum has inspired them. I’m so so happy I didn’t give up and I’m now determined to stay at my goal weight, and I’m just getting stronger and healthier each day, and I’m now onto the next chapter.”
What an inspiration you are, Leanne!!