Stones roll away for slimming duo

Jenny Green and her mum Christine have shed 20 stone between them. Catherine Scott finds out how.

Jenny Green.

It was seeing a picture of herself on Facebook at a friend’s wedding which made Jenny Green realise the time had come to do something about her weight.

“I saw the picture and freaked,” says Jenny, 39, who moved to York three years ago from Armley, Leeds.

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“I immediately got my friend to take down the photograph and then decided that I had to do something.”

Jenny had tried diets in the past but she had always failed to stick to them.

She says she has had issues with her weight all of her life, and comes from a family who have weight issues.

It was while living in Leeds, working as manager at Swinton Insurance and becoming a foster parent that Jenny’s weight started to become a real issue.

“I never really went out and socialised and so I would stay in and have a large pizza. I’d never take a packed lunch to work, instead I’d go to the bakery or something. I also found life at that time quite difficult and so food became a comfort for me.”

By the time the pictures appeared on Facebook two years ago Jenny had ballooned to 22st 9oz and was a dress size 30 to 32. She was often out of breath as a result of her weight and it also affected her emotionally as well as physically.

“I would wake up in the morning and just be so relieved that I hadn’t died of a heart attack in the night,” she says.

“The bigger I got the worse I felt. I remember being in Asda in Killingbeck and realised that these two lads behind me were up to something. They were taking photographs of my behind on their phones.

“I was mortified. Now I would say something but then I so lacked in self-confidence that I couldn’t do anything. People think it is okay to laugh at fat people, but it isn’t. It just makes things worse.”
Jenny decided to enlist the help of her mum, Christine, who was also overweight.

“I did some research and decided to give Slimming World ago. I think I had got so big that I never thought I would be able to lose all that weight.”

The mother and daughter joined Slimming World in Wetherby with the aim of losing ten stone each.

“It felt like a massive mountain and unachieveable,” says Jenny.

“We were introduced to a eating plan called Extra Easy. I must admit I was very sceptical at first as you can eat unlimited amounts of certain foods so you never go hungry.”

But when the weight started to fall off Jenny became more confident.

“ After the first week I had lost 4lb then the second week I had lost half a stone. Within three months I had lost three stone. My success carried on from there.”

Jenny and her mum hit their targets and Jenny now weighs 12 stone and is a dress size 12 to 14, but she isn’t stopping there.

“My initial target was 13 stone, and now I weigh 12 stone, but I would like to lose another stone.”

Due to her fostering, Jenny left her job, moved to York and started a dog walking business.

“There is no way I could join a gym, but the dog walking means I get regular exercise. I have not only lost the weight I have kept it off. I have completely changed my way of life. People treat me so differently now. When I was fat it was almost as if I didn’t exist. Now people treat me as a person. I feel so much better physically and emotionally. I have taken up horse riding which had always been a dream of mine.”

Another driver for her to lose weight was to show her dying grandfather.

“My grandad was diagnosed with mesothelioma (lung cancer caused from asbestos)after working in a couple of factories in Leeds. He was given 12 months to live from diagnosis. We knew it would be a tall order in 12 months.

“He went on to defy doctors and lived for almost three years. He passed away in October last year so he got to see us slim.”

Now Jenny, who now runs the Wetherby and Boston Spa Slimming World groups wants to inspire other obese people.

“When you get to 20 stone you just don’t think you can lose weight without an operation. I want people to know that you can, and what a difference it makes to your life.”