A MUM-of-two has shed an incredible seven stone and dropped from a size 24 to a slinky size 14 after her marriage ended.
Joanne Brown, 42, of Bellshill, Lanarkshire, looks incredible after she dropped six dress sizes – and 100lbs – in just over two years without having to give up her favourite – chocolate.
Joanne said her weight had been creeping up but took a turn for the worst during the pandemic when she worked as a GP's receptionist.
She said it was a series of events in her life that led her to have her "epiphany moment" after she saw the weight pile on to the point she didn't recognise herself in the mirror.
But it was in April 2021 when Joanne's marriage to her childhood sweetheart broke down causing her to "snap" and wake up to how unhappy she was and how she had lost her identity completely.
Joanne got the shock of her life when topped the scales at 18stone 5lbs (257lbs) and she said she could barely look in the mirror as she hated getting her picture taken.
She told the Scottish Sun: "There’s not many of photos of me at my heaviest and some of them are horrendous.
"It basically reflects how unhappy I was and how miserable my life had become. I was so ashamed."
Joanne met her ex-partner when they were just 15 and were married for 14 years, sharing a 10-year-old and a 4-year-old.
But she knew she had to start to do something for herself so started to look at ways to improve her diet and started to exercise.
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She lost the first four stone through using the Weight Watchers (WW) app before she moved on to working with a personal trainer and moved into a "clean" diet.
She continued: "I had been doing Weight Watchers on and off previous years, I got fed up with counting points.
"I knew the food I should have been eating, so I basically switched to clean eating.
"Limited processed food, all wholefoods.
I live off proteins, a lot of veg, fish, I eat a lot of salads, fruits.
"Don't get me wrong, I still like chocolate, I think if anything I still need my chocolate.
"Every night I tend to have a cup of tea, and I go to Lidl where they sell mini bars of dark chocolate.
"That does me, it gives me a little taste where you aren't eating masses of chocolate.
"I think I would go crazy if I didn't have that."
It took Joanne just over two years to lose the 100lbs (seven stone) and she is now focused on getting fitter.
Standing at 5ft 8, she admits she is looking to lose another stone to reach her goal weight.
And after working with a PT, Joanne says she's "now on a mission" as the weight loss has also allowed Joanne to set new life goals – including learning how to box.
She added:"I've given myself another challenge for next year – and I've taken up boxing.
"I've been doing a mix of 1-2-1 PT and online coaching, but I am learning the basics and the circuit training around it.
"It's hard, it is really hard – it is not as easy as it looks.
"It's a mix of losing the weight and my life events that's spurring on a lot of this.
"I think it is trying to find inner strength.
"It is giving yourself challenges and realising that you are capable on doing it.
"I am trying to find the things I capable of doing and I enjoy doing them."
But for Joanne, being able to take on a sky dive was her biggest achievement of 2023.
The weight-limit for a tandem jump is 14 stone, which Joanne sailed comfortably into.
She also raised almost £700 for mental health charity Back on Side.
She added: "It was over at Fife Airport, flying over St Andrew.
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"That was amazing, I really really loved that.
"I was really proud of myself for being able to achieve it."
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