She has dropped seven dress sizes and her health problems have all but disappeared because Shirley Herron is now literally half the woman she was.
At 22 stone, Shirley, 56, was a size 28 and struggled to find clothes to fit. She relied on sticks to walk and took a cocktail of medication for diabetes and other ailments.
But now she is a svelte size 14 after shedding a whopping 10st 8.5lbs thanks to an Alnwick’s Weight Watchers class.
Shirley, who lives in Monkseaton, visits her mum at Percy Court every week.
She was told she had to lose weight for a knee replacement operation and when she noticed the weight loss class taking place where her mum lives, she joined up.
Shirley grew up in the area and her parents ran Shilbottle club.
She said: “I have tried that many diets before, I’ve lost five or six stone and then stopped going.
“But the leader at the class, Kim Stewart, has been an inspiration. She isn’t just a leader, she’s a friend. She relies on us and we rely on her and that’s why I kept going.”
It has taken just over three years for Shirley to shed the pounds and she wants to lose another five and a half to get to her 11st goal.
But it hasn’t always been easy for her.
She said: “During the second year I was up and down and by the end of it I had put on 30lb but I just carried on.
“I feel totally different. My health problems have all but gone and I am a totally different person.
“The class is brilliant too, you get great inspiration from the group.”
Kim said: “Shirley made a life-changing decision to lose weight and, in spite of her medical conditions, she has persevered. It’s not always been easy but she never gave up. Shirley has achieved her ambition to lose weight and I am very proud of her.”
Kim’s classes take place at 6.30pm on a Tuesday at Percy Court and 9.30am on a Saturday at St Michael’s Parish Hall.