Two Perthshire sisters are celebrating an incredible weight loss journey after losing 11 stone between them.
Donna Robinson and Amanda Davies joined Slimming World in August last year, after deciding they wanted to lose weight for a family wedding.
Since then Donna, 35, has gone from 18 stone 4lbs to 12 stone – a loss of 6 stone and 4lbs, dropping from a size 24 to a size 12 in the process,
Amanda, 33, has lost almost five stone and has also had to update her wardrobe. Her new clothes are a size 12, with her previous size-20 garments recently donated to charity.
The amount of combined weight the pair have shed is equal roughly to the average weight of a woman in the UK.
The sisters, who grew up in Glenesk in Angus and went to Brechin High School, have encouraged anyone who is unhappy with their weight to take that first step and join Slimming World, which they credit with keeping them motivated along the way.
Donna, a catering assistant for Tayside Contracts, who lives in Blair Atholl with husband Terry, 48, and their two daughters, said: “I started slimming world on the 6th August 2018 and weighed 18 stone 4lbs.
“In total I have lost 6 stone 4lbs – I now weigh 12 stone.
“I am a target member and have been for five weeks now so I am trying to maintain within the range of no more than 3lb over or below 12 stone – which is my target weight for my height.”
Donna said there were no “fad diets”, supplements or so-called “fat burning pills” often advertised online involved – her weight loss was down to a very simple strategy.
“To lose the weight it was all in the food,” she said. “I am very active at work and did swim once a week when I started or would leave the car at work and walk home and back but over the winter I stopped that and it was all about my diet.”
Amanda said she decided to try and shed her excess weight after she became “miserable” about how she looked.
She said: “I went to the doctor at the end July as I was miserable about my weight.
“The doctor was the one who suggested I join Slimming World and Donna came along as support for me.
“When I saw the doctor I was 17 stone 1lb and when I started at Slimming World I was 16 stone 6lb so I had lost 9lb before joining.
“I now weigh 12 stone 2lb. I’ve lost 4 stone 4lb on my Slimming World journey but 4 stone 13lb in total.
“I have purely changed my diet. I now cook everything from scratch. I don’t use ready-made sauces. I don’t cook with oil it is all fry light. And I eat much more fruit and veg.
“I’ve massively cut back on biscuits, chocolate and crisps too.
“I feel like a completely different person. I am confident, I have a much more positive outlook on life and I have energy to run around and play with my children.
“I feel like I have a new lease of life. My family and friends have been amazing and so supportive.
“A couple of our friends have also joined us on the Slimming World journey and it’s been amazing to have so much support.
“If you want to lose weight then I would highly recommend Slimming World and going to an exercise class.
“Our group have been amazing and so supportive and you get great food ideas and recipes of everyone.
“It’s like another family; no one judges you as you are all there for the the same reason. It’s not easy losing weight – you have good days and bad days – but it’s totally worth it in the long run!”
Amanda, an assistant buyer at the House of Bruar near to her home in Blair Atholl, said her change in lifestyle had inspired husband Scott, 36, to make changes too.
She said: “My husband has also recently joined me on the Slimming World journey. My two young boys, Rhys, 8, and Ryan, 6, love to guess how much weight mummy and daddy have lost before we go to class!
“I have had to buy a whole new wardrobe as I have gone from a size 18/20 to a 12/14 – but I now love going clothes shopping, whereas before I hated it.”
Donna said her daughters Rebecca, 11 and Elsie Rose, 3, were also really proud of their mum.
She added: “Now I have lost the weight I feel amazing, like a different person. I wish I had done it sooner.
“It’s an incredible feeling, especially looking back at old photos. I would never have imagined within 30 weeks of starting I would have hit my target weight.
“Family and friends have been amazing, really supportive and I have had lots of lovely messages from people saying I have inspired them to join Slimming World, or just to eat healthier.
“Never, ever would I have thought that I would inspire anyone, those messages of support keep you going when you maybe haven’t had the best of weeks, weight-loss wise.
“To anyone thinking of losing weight I would say, ‘go for it’.
“I cleared out my wardrobe and most of it went to charity. And I have just re-filled it this weekend with a shopping trip in Newcastle.
“I owe a huge thank you to my mum Liz, dad Ronnie and husband Terry as they have been a massive support, especially on the down days, as there were a few, and they were always there to pick us up.
“And the biggest thank you goes to Amanda, as that one phone call from her asking me to go along to Slimming World with her has changed my life.”
Donna and Amanda’s mum, Liz Hepburn, said: “Last July they received their ‘Save the Date’ invites to their cousin’s wedding and at the end of August they made the decision that they would not be buying plus-size dresses.
“Together they made the decision to support each other by joining a local Slimming World class and have not looked back. What an amazing transformation. I’m so super proud of them both.”
If you have serious concerns about your weight, see your GP.
For more information about Slimming World groups in your area, visit: slimmingworld.co.uk