A Churwell slimmer has been crowned Slimming World’s West Yorkshire’s Woman of Year in a competition after shedding half her body weight.
Lesley Leathley, 66, who attends the Thursday group at All Saints Church, has lost a huge 10 stone and will now represent West Yorkshire in the semi-finals on October 5 in Derby.
Mrs Leathley, who has been a member of Slimming World for two years, said since losing the weight her life has completely changed.
The grandma has slimmed from almost 21 stones to 11 stones in two years.
She has ditched the walking sticks she used to need, overcome health problems and is determined to lose the final amount to reach her target weight.
Lesley said: “I feel brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It’s given me my confidence back. I have my life back.”
She said she had struggled with her weigh throughout her adult life and had tried many diets. But it was when her two children left home she stopped making proper meals.
She said: “I’d just have quick food like sandwiches and bacon and eggs in lots of oil, I didn’t see the point of making a full dinner just for me.
“My size was getting bigger and it was effecting my working life to the point where I was turning down promotions. I even had to be measured for a chair because of my size. I was so embarrassed.
“When the chair arrived I couldn’t believe how big it was.”
Another embarrassing moment came when swimming when a lifeguard tried to help her out of the pool, but her weight pulled him into the water.
“I was mortified and vowed this would never happen again,” she said.
After her weight started to prevent her from socialising, and she realised she wanted to enjoy her retirement, she signed up for Slimming World.
Lesley said she “never looked back” after her first session, though she admits it was difficult to start with.
Now, almost two years on, she has slimmed from a size 32 to a 14/16 and hopes to reach her target weight of 10st 13lbs next week.
And she can now play outside with her four grandchildren.
“They think it’s brilliant because I can kick a ball with them,” she said.
“My health has improved, my blood pressure is now back to where it should be, the pain from the arthritis in my hands, knees and spine has eased.
The best thing of all is I’ve got my confidence back. I have my life back and I can actually enjoy my retirement now.”