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A lockdown and break up inspired Leigh to quit drinking and lose more than five stone

Leigh before and after
Leigh before and after

Supermarket worker Leigh Goldsbury already struggled with her weight before the pandemic. But being on the frontline in the first lockdown and going through a relationship break up led her to make some drastic changes.

Now, more than five stone lighter, 24-year-old Leigh has ditched binge drinking for healthy eating and feels great.

“I chose a lockdown and a break up to stop binge drinking and decided to lose weight,” she said.

Leigh’s weight gain began when she was in her teens and she’d save up her school lunch money to buy alcohol and crisps.

‘’I’d save money I got for my school lunches, lived on a large share bag of crisps all week and then at the weekend buy whatever cheap, sugar-filled alcohol I could afford. By the age of 15, I swapped the cider for vodka and energy drinks.’’

As her weight piled on, she lost touch with her friends and stopped socialising.

‘’I lost all respect and love for my body and its worth. I stopped going out, stopped socialising and started self-harming.’’

By 2018, Leigh and her now-ex-partner had bought their first home together. After a few days, discovered the electrics were poorly done and needed a full rewire. Due to the stress, Leigh and her ex-partner lived on takeaway for around 3 months for the convenience.

Once Leigh finally moved in, she said: ‘’I felt isolated. I was stuck in a unfamiliar house with someone who wouldn’t have noticed if I was there or not.’’

This resulted in Leigh turning even more to alcohol and junk food.

‘’The bigger I got, the more I saw myself as disgusting.

At the start of the pandemic, Leigh was working as a shop assistant at a well-known supermarket, surrounded by food.

“I had no chance about carrying on working in lockdown,” she said. “People needed to eat, but the stress of COVID-19 and working made me want to eat more.”

The turning points for Leigh came when she decided she was fed up of being seen as the ‘big girl’.

”One day I had a meltdown at work with a colleague, who has become a very good friend. I told him how unhappy I was with my appearance, but that I didn’t have the first idea as to what to do about it or how to start.

“He told me that his mother was a Consultant for The 1:1 Diet and that I should talk to her. I was really nervous and ashamed, as my weight is never a conversation, I wanted to have with anyone, something that was avoided at all costs. But I plucked up the courage and, after being on the phone to Sue, I felt completely reassured.

“She made me realise that doing something about it was something to be proud of. We picked a date for me to start on Plan and went from there. I have never felt such support  and encouragement before; Sue has been there for me every step of the way.”

Leigh now looks forward to weigh days, is happy to have photos taken . . .even full-length ones. She has regained her confidence, appreciates her body, her skin is better, and her hair is healthier.

‘’I have a different outlook on food. I am no longer eating out of convenience and am learning new ways to cook and experimenting with good I never thought I’d eat. I feel like a new woman.’’

Leigh’s weight loss transformation is inspirational, making her shortlisted in the Social Hero category of our annual Slimmer Awards, recognising her fantastic achievement.

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