A woman looks unrecognisable after she kick-started her weight loss journey this year.
At her heaviest, Liza Pepper tipped the scales at 19st 2lbs when she tucked into double the average person’s festive calorie count.
On what she describes as “the most miserable Christmas ever”, the 49-year-old health worker felt awful when she put on the pounds.
But she decided enough was enough and joined her local Slimming World group in Norfolk in a bid to shed weight.
Now 12 months later, Lisa dropped more than 6st, beating her target size, to weigh a slim 12st 9lbs.
She said: “Even while I was eating it all, I felt awful and I remember thinking, ‘why am I doing this?’ But I still didn’t stop, I just kept going and by the end of the day I felt disgusting.”
But things got too much for Liza on Boxing Day when she and her partner got ready to head out to watch the annual dip for charity in their hometown.
The mum continued: “I put on this jumper which I really liked and it strained over me. I had to squeeze into it, so much so that it made me think I didn’t want to leave the house.
“We didn’t go in the end, even though I was feeling awful, and I saw all these lovely fit people with their swimming costumes on running into the sea and just though, that’s it, I’m never having another Christmas like this one. By next Boxing Day I’ll be lighter.”
Liza’s eating spiralled out of control last Christmas when she celebrated the holiday with her partner Chris and 29-year-old daughter Ellie.
She explained: “We kicked off with bucks fizz, then I had at least two full-fat cream cheese bagels with smoked salmon – and butter on mine too.
“Mid-morning, still in pyjamas, I had coffee with Baileys and cracked open the Roses. Then for Christmas dinner I did a baked camembert which I dipped croissants and garlic bread into, before we had our traditional turkey roast.
“That had all the trimmings and I piled on the pigs in blankets, roast potatoes drenched in lard and big Yorkshire puddings. Everything was piled high on the plate, I’d cooked enough for a family of about 25 even though there were only three of us.”
Just a couple hours later, Liza was polishing off turkey sandwiches, ahead of stilton and brie with crackers and chutney, Christmas cake and, of course, mince pies.
But with the memory of last Christmas still fresh in her mind, Liza has already planned this year’s menu and she’s taking a Slimming World healthy eating approach to the big day.
She added: “My whole way of eating is different now and I don’t get the sugar highs and lows, or the salt highs and lows that I used to so I don’t crave food and feel hungry all the time like I did before.
“For our Christmas dinner I’ll be doing turkey, which is fine because it’s really lean meat, and potatoes roasted with spray oil. I won’t have pigs in blankets because there’s really no healthy way to do them, but I’ll have lots of steamed veg and for dessert I’ll have a tropical fruit salad instead of pudding.
“I’m not going to starve myself so if I want a bit of cheese with crackers or Baileys in my coffee then I’ll have it and really enjoy it. I’ll just plan my syns and that way I can have them guilt-free.
“I’m really looking forward to Christmas Day this year because my life has changed completely, beyond belief. I know it’ll be a happy one after the most miserable one ever.”