A STAFFORD slimmer, who felt she was an embarrassment to her family and wore dark clothes to blend into the background, has shed almost five stones in six months.
To the outside world mum-of-two Jackie Holland, who lives in the North End of the town, was strong and outgoing but inside she was insecure.
She had piled on the pounds, had a failed marriage and failed relationship behind her and her confidence had dropped to an all-time low.
She often turned down invitations to events organised by good friends because she felt so inadequate and was anxious about how she looked in her clothes.
The weight went on when Jackie, 54, returned to work after having children and became a single mum.
She could not go to the gym in the evening without getting a babysitter so the diet dwindled and she went up to almost 18 stones, which at 5ft 4ins put her in the morbidly obese range.
One day a friend and work colleague was talking about joining Slimming World so Jackie went along for support.
She said: “I must confess that the emo- tion I felt when I had lost 7lb in the first week was up there with the best. I literally was in tears.”
She has now lost 4.5 stones in less than six months and plans to lose another 1.5 stones to reach her target.
She added: “It will take a long time to change my mindset from the ‘fat woman’ who was unworthy but I can tell you the new slimmer me is beginning to emerge from its chrysalis.
People talk of permanent change and I now know what that is because the new me is here to stay.”