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How to lose weight: Transformations that prove it CAN be done

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Emma McDermott
Age: 35
Weight loss: 5 stone 7lbs

5 dress sizes smaller


SO many of us decide we will have a huge Christmas blowout and eat everything in sight – and the diet can wait until the new year.

Emma McDermott, from Cowdenbeath, was so fed up with her weight she joined her local Scottish Slimmers class in November 2014.

“I knew I wouldn’t be a size 10 by the party season – especially as I was 15 stone 10lb,” she says.

“But I couldn’t wait any longer and I lost 6lb in my first week. It was the boost I needed. Even over the Christmas period I lost a pound – better than nothing!”

When last January dawned, it meant she’d had a head start on her diet and wholeheartedly threw herself into her new lifetstyle.

“I’ve always been on the big side, as big as 16 stone. And when I found out I was to be made redundant from the police force, my confidence was at an all-time low,” she says.

“But I was determined to do it. I honestly felt no-one would want to employ me, so that’s why I decided to join Scottish Slimmers.”

By the time Emma, 35, left the police force in March of last year, she was three stone lighter and ready to take on the world.

“I went for two interviews and was delighted to get a job with Thomas Cook,” she says.

Emma’s new job meant she had even more of an incentive to stick to her diet, as she often goes on amazing holidays.

She found that setting herself incentives helped her stick to her new lifestyle.

“I set myself challenges and gradually started to take more exercise,” she says. “I started off with walking, then going to fitness classes. I’ve signed up for the Edinburgh Marathon – it might be insanity but I’m going for it!”

Emma’s new job has seen her travel to locations like Florida, Spain and Mexico. And with her new, slimline look, she’s treated herself to something that the “old” Emma would never have worn – a bikini!

“I haven’t had one since I was about five, so that shows you how far I have come!” she says.


Fiona Cregan
Age: 57
Weight loss: 4 stone

4 dress sizes smaller


Fiona Cregan and her husband Mike moved to Callander in 2011. They planned to have a more active lifestyle in the Trossachs while they looked after Fiona’s elderly father.

Tragically Mike was diagnosed with terminal cancer and everything changed.

“When we moved to Callander I was fit and well. But I began comfort eating to cope with the awful feelings of sadness, as well as the stress, of looking after both Mike and my dad who was also housebound by then,” says Fiona, 57.

“By the time Mike passed away in April of 2014, I was the heaviest I’d ever been.”

Grief and loss meant Fiona continued to pile on the pounds.

“By spring of last year, I had hit 14 stone,” Fiona remembers.

And being so overweight brought its own set of issues.

“I developed knee problems. The pain and swelling was so bad it stopped me from doing any exercise,” she said.

When it got to the stage her knees were so bad that she could no longer climb her own stairs, Fiona decided it was time for action.

“That was a wake-up call. I knew I had to do something for myself and decided I would give Scottish Slimmers a go,” Fiona says.

“There were classes locally and last May I took the plunge and went to Sandy Fleming’s class.”

In the first week, Fiona lost 7lb.

Fiona, who’s a carer, was on the Scottish Slimmers Positive Eating Plan and liked its simplicity.

“It is easy, healthy and straightforward – and, most importantly, it’s sustainable over a long period of time,” she says.

Fiona went on to lose a fantastic four stone and four dress sizes and she says all her effort has been well worth it. Even her knee problems are a thing of the past.

“They no longer hurt – and, unbelievably, I’ve even enjoyed several 24-mile cycle runs. At the start of last year that would not have been possible.”