When Kelly Mitchell’s mother suffered a stroke in March last year, Kelly vowed to lose weight for the sake of her own health.
“In many ways me and my mother are similar, and a health problem was not something I wanted,” said 36-year-old teacher Kelly.
“The trouble was I was comfortable in my old weight – I wasn’t someone who was always dieting – and that’s what frightened me.”
So Kelly, who lives in Spratton with her husband and three daughters, took decisive action.
She joined the Market Harborough branch of the LighterLife weightloss group, and lost an incredible five stones and four pounds, in just six months.
It means Kelly has dropped from a size 20 dress size to a size 12 in just half-a-year.
“I clearly had bad eating habits,” said Kelly, who once weighed more than 18 stone.
“Too large portions and too much rubbish.
“But through the counselling sessions I also saw that my life used to revolve around the children, and I lost myself.
“Now I am more focussed on looking after me rather than just my family.
“The counselling sessions helped me discover why I was eating and hunger wasn’t the problem – it was boredom.
“Now I fill my time with hobbies instead of snacking.”
The new, lighter Kelly leads a far more active lifestyle.
And she says she now has a more positive outlook on life in general.
She said that before her impressive weightloss, she deliberately held back from being active.
“Now it’s amazing how much more involved I am in all sorts of things. In a few months’ time, for example, I am taking my pupils skiing.”
She is also training to be an advanced open-water diver.
“My choice of how I spend my time has changed,” she said.
“I am even more active with my children – instead of sitting on a bench with a friend chatting, I will now go on the slides and walk around with the kids.”
Kelly took a LighterLife course in Market Harborough which combined a very low calorie diet with a behaviour-change programme.
She still visits the Market Harborough club about once a month, and she promises the weight has stayed off.