Stevenage mum sheds half her body weight in remarkable transformation
PUBLISHED: 17:32 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:32 17 October 2019
A Stevenage mum has won a slimming award after losing half her body weight in under 12 months.
Danielle O'Donoghue lost a life-changing 8st 6lbs to win Slimming World's 'Club 50' Award - celebrating slimmers who have lost 50 per cent of their body mass.
The 35-year-old was referred to a slimming group by her GP in September 2018, after seeing her weight balloon to 16st 6lbs.
Today, Danielle weighs in at just over 8st, and has plummeted from a size 24 to size 6.
"I'm so proud to win this award," she said. "I feel like a new woman since losing weight - in fact, I look so different that people who I haven't seen me for a while often can't believe I'm the same person.
"It's the change on the inside that's been the greatest - I'm happier, healthier and much more confident now."
Danielle joined the Timebridge Slimming World group last year, and said that "walking through the doors was one of the hardest things I've ever done".
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"I've been overweight since my teens and having my first child," said Danielle.
"I was embarrassed about my size and scared that I might be the biggest person there.
"Everyone was so friendly and I was so relieved when I found out that my weight was confidential between me and my leader - I'd had visions of having to tell everyone how much I weighed!
"It impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I like that fit, to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath.
"Before I lost weight, I hated having my photo taken and whenever I saw pictures of myself, I didn't feel like my smile was real. This is a change I've made for life and I have the tools I need to stay like this forever - my smile is definitely real!"
The 35-year-old is now a keen runner, having completed the 13.1-mile Great North Run last month, and is in training for the Manchester Marathon in April 2020.
Tracy Copping, who runs the Timebridge and Poplars Slimming World groups, said: "The changes we have seen in Danielle are incredible.
"I hope her success will inspire other people who'd like to lose weight forming new lifestyle habits become happier and healthier."