When overweight mum Amanda Hall couldn’t run around with her twin boys, she was determined to do something about it.
Weighing in at 14st 2lbs, she couldn’t be as active as she wanted to be while Lewis and Thomas were always eager to play.
Being a busy mum she ordered takeaways and snacked on chocolate and crisps.
And at a petite 5ft 3 inches, and tipping the scales in the wrong direction, she ‘hated’ the way she looked.
But after joining Slimming World the mum-of-three has lost a massive 5st 2lbs and has dropped to 9st, while going from a dress size 20 down to a slinky 8.
Amanda, 32, of Lanchester,County Durham, said: “The driving force behind my Slimming World journey was my two boys Lewis and Thomas.
"I wanted to be a more active mammy, to be able to run around with them, and as they were two years old at the time, I wanted to be healthy for them."
“My confidence was so low, I didn’t like the way I looked and I felt rubbish.
"At my first weigh in I had lost 4.5lbs and I was really pleased, I thought to myself ‘I can definitely do this’. In 15 weeks in group I lost 1st 8lbs and by week 25 I got to my 2st target.
“I did have ups and downs but nothing was going to stop me being the mammy I knew I could be. I just kept going every week knowing attending group would be the key to my success.”
Amanda stuck to the weight loss plan and the flab dropped off. And in June 2018 she found out she was pregnant but carried on with her slimming journey.
“I food optimised all the way through my pregnancy and gave birth to Jamie on February 19, 2019. I was back in group three days after he was born and with a weight loss of 26lbs I was back to target, with a total weight loss of 3st 4lbs,” added Amanda, whose partner is Kevin Baker, 31.
“When I started Slimming World I didn’t know how much I wanted to lose.
"I just wanted to be more active for my boys and to eat healthy.
"I never thought that I could lose over 5st, but I did and achieved my final target of 5st on December 4, 2019. And I’ve lost another 2lbs since then.”
Amanda added: “Before Slimming World I think I was big because I didn’t eat properly, I always made sure the boys were sorted but I just used to snack on the wrong things and weekends were even worse as I just used to ring for a takeaway as that was easier.
"I was doing that probably three times a week. I was also picking on chocolate and crisps instead of having proper meals.
“I now eat fantastic meals, there is so much to choose from and I love to cook from scratch. As a family we all eat the same meals and the boys love it too.
"We eat a lot of chicken - chicken kebab, chicken curry, chicken stir fry, chicken fried rice. My partner jokes we will look like a chicken if we eat any more. I now love fruit, veg and salads and try new things all the time.”
Amanda, who is up for the Biggest Loser Award in her group, says she feels like a new person now she is slim.
She said: “When I was overweight I didn’t like the way I looked, I didn’t have much self confidence and I felt uncomfortable in everything I was wearing.
“My partner always said I looked great in everything but I didn’t think so and would get really upset. I hated looking at myself and didn’t like having my photo taken.”
After losing her weight Amanda’s life has changed for the better.
“My dress size before was 18/20 and my confidence was zero, I felt like a failure as a mammy,” said Amanda.
“I wanted to run around after the twins and couldn’t, what kind of an example was I to them?
“I couldn’t run up the stairs without getting tired but now I find it so much easier to do things and have lots of family activities, which are fun.
“My boys are now four years old and they understand the healthy foods we eat means they will never be overweight.
“I feel fantastic now and I have so much more confidence and love the way I look. I love shopping and trying on new clothes. I don’t hate myself anymore.”
Amanda attends the Slimming World group ran by consultant Judith Churchill held in the Lanchester Social Club on Wednesdays at 5.30pm.
She also runs groups at the Central Methodist Church, in Annfield Plain, on Mondays at 5.30pm and 7.30pm and The Masonic Hall in Stanley on Thursday morning at 9.30am and 11.30am. Judith can be contacted on 07875607067.
For more information about Slimming World visit their website here.
To find a Slimming World group near you call Lorna Daniels, district manager for Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, on 07384119370 or Sue Thompson, district manager for Wearside and Durham, on 07557028637.