A woman has shared how a she saw an incredible 8st 8lbs (54kg) weight loss and dropped six dress sizes after an "embarrassing" experience in a shop changing room.
At her heaviest, in 2012, Alice Ingman, 59, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire was 18st (114kg), having seen her weight start to creep up in her twenties.
The catalyst for overhauling her diet and lifestyle was a fitting room experience where she realised a variety of size 20 dresses were all too small.
By 2018, Ingman had lost 8.5st (54kg), almost half her body weight, and five years on now weighs a trim 9st 11lbs (62kg).
She has also managed to run three full marathons and ten half marathons, claiming running has been a big part of her weight loss journey, keeping her feeling "powerful, fit and strong".
Ingman says she gained weight steadily for years, which caused her to suffer with painful acid reflux.
“My weight was really taking a toll on my health," she says. "I had terrible acid reflux, my legs would rub together and cause painful sores, and I’d be completely out of breath after the most minimal physical activity.
"I knew that my family were worried about me too because I’d get tired so easily. I’d been relatively slim up until my mid-20s, but the weight went on so gradually that I didn’t really notice at first."
The turning point came one afternoon when Ingman was shopping for new work clothes. "I was convinced I was still a size 16, so when I found myself in the changing room surrounded by size 20 skirts that didn’t fit, I knew I had to do something.”
Having joined Slimming World, Ingman developed an eating plan and learned to build healthier habits around food, including cooking from scratch more and upping her fruit and vegetables intake.
She swapped the meal deals, carbs, chocolate and crisps for fruit, salad and healthy home-cooked curries, with meal prepping becoming a huge part of her routine.
"I’ve always enjoyed food but had fallen out of love with cooking," she explains. "Most of my meals had a plastic lid and were either from the takeaway or for the microwave.
"Slimming World showed me that I could still enjoy the flavours of food while losing weight. I absolutely love a curry – the spicier the better – so experimenting with my own recipes really kept me on track. It was a totally new way of looking at weight loss and I think that’s why it has worked so well for me."
As well as transforming her eating habits, Ingman also started exercising more and targeted running as an efficient, enjoyable way of losing weight.
Over the course of six years Alice lost an incredible 8st 8lbs – a weight loss she has maintained since 2018 when she achieved her target weight.
She is now a size eight and an established marathon runner and says that shopping for clothes is no longer a dreaded chore but an enjoyable hobby.
But while she says feeling confident in her clothes is amazing, it's the impact on her health she is most proud of.
"My family no longer worry about me, and you just can’t put a price on that feeling," she adds.