A mum lost ten stone in seven months – and is able to wear her wedding ring for the first time in 11 years.
Mum-of-two Sarah Armstrong, 45, weighed 23 stone when the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, caused by eating a lot of takeaways and snacks, as well as a health condition that made it hard for her to exercise.
But when she tried to pull on a size 28 top and was unable to get it on, Sarah knew she needed to make a change.
Gran-of-five Sarah is now a size 14 after committing to a diet plan and using lockdown as an opportunity to work out at home in Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway.
Her wedding ring and engagement band are now too big for her and she can’t wait to do more travelling, which was inhibited due to her health.
In November 2020, she started a new diet plan and is chuffed with being able to have fun again with her grandkids, no longer needs a walking stick, and is loving shopping for new clothes.
Her waist size dropped from 52 inches to 32 inches.
Sarah said: “I ordered some new clothes in a size 28, and that was me ordering two sizes above.
“When it came, however, nothing fitted me. It was heartbreaking. I just sat there crying. I knew I had put on weight, but not that much. It was like I hit a wall that day.
“Then lockdown started, and I thought it was a good opportunity with time to spare. I thought it was time for a change, for everyone, including my family.
“I felt like I was missing out. I wasn’t able to go walks with my grandchildren. I got in touch with Lynn Adams at Cambridge 1:1 and that’s when my weight loss journey began.
“She set me up with the diet plan, and I started to reduce my calories. Lynn was there for me all the way through, she was very supportive and inspirational.
“After a month on the new diet, I was able to exercise again and started going out walks. I got a treadmill in the house, as well as a cross-trainer.
“The new plan got me on three meals a day, and one snack. I started eating vegetables, salads, and in much smaller portions.
“I’ve had to go shopping for all new clothes, it’s fantastic. I’ve been to River Island, New Look, TK Maxx and just stocked up.
“I was unable to wear my engagement and wedding rings, and now they are too big on me now. I think I deserve a new one.”
Husband Stuart, 44, who works in estate maintenance, said: “I’m very proud, she’s totally rocking it, it couldn’t get better.
“She’s become very active. At my work, we had a cherry picker on hire and the boss said I could take it to remove the moss off my roof.
“When I brought it home, Sarah was straight on it, and I put my feet up. This just shows how her confidence has increased.”
Sarah piled on the pounds as her fibromyalgia and a slipped hernia disk left her unable to do any exercise, and her asthma left her continuously out of breath.
Her breathing has improved to the extent that she does not require to use her inhaler as much, and she finds herself with so much more energy – so much that her grandson wants her to come snowboarding.
Sarah said: “My asthma is a lot better depending on weather, and I don’t need to take inhalers as much.
“I had no confidence at all. The more weight I lost the more confidence I got. I’m now lots more confident, and I can go out on my own. I don’t need anyone to come with me.
“I am full of life now. People don’t even recognise me when I walk by them in the street. It’s knocked years of my life. I’ve started gardening and decorating, and I can’t wait to restart swimming.
“My grandchildren are loving it. My eldest grandson, who’s five, is wanting me to go snowboarding. I’m still wanting to lose a little bit more weight.
“We’d like to go traveling around Scotland, as we have never been able to travel due to being in too much pain.
“It’s never too late to change. It changed my life and can change everyone’s.”