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Woman of the Year - Lindsey Cummins

WOMAN of the Year winner, Lindsey Cummins, has lost half of her body weight on The 1:1 Diet and, in the process, said every part of her life has changed for the better.

At her heaviest, mum-of-one Lindsey, from Raunds, Northamptonshire, tipped the scales at 31 stones and has now lost an incredible 15 stones eight pounds on Plan.

“I think I’ve lost a Michael Jordan in weight – or one big man!”

What’s more, the Consultant who’s helped Lindsey achieve her weight loss goal is former The 1:1 Diet Woman of the Year 2016 winner, Grace Payne.

“I have been overweight for as long as I can remember,” said Lindsey. “However, the emotional turmoil of trying to conceive for six years meant that by February 2019, I weighed in excess of 27 stone. I then miraculously fell pregnant.

“I was terrified to be pregnant at that weight. By some miracle, a lot of medical intervention and worry, my son, Harry, was born in October 2019. I weighed more than 30 stone at his birth.

“I do feel I was treated differently to other women throughout my labour and the aftermath of that, to my detriment, due to my weight, and how the doctors viewed me because of it.”

After Harry’s birth, Lindsey’s weight dropped to 27 stone, However, it soon increased as old habits took over, leading her to pile on even more weight.

In March 2020, the weekend before the UK went into lockdown, Lindsey contracted COVID-19.

“Covid itself didn't affect me initially,” she recalled. “However, the impact of the virus was felt long after and was brutal. I suffered with long Covid terribly. I had extreme fatigue, struggled to be awake for more than a few hours, was breathless after a few steps and it had a huge impact on my hormones.

“By early 2021, I had come to the acute realisation that I was no longer living, but existing. It had also become intensely apparent that being so extremely overweight was directly responsible for my terrible reaction to this illness and the struggles I faced daily.

“I had tried for six years for my longed-for baby and now he was here, I was missing out. It was impossible for me to live a full life as my weight made it unbearable. If this is what my life was going to be like day in day out, I couldn’t live it any more.”

Lindsey asked her GP for weight loss surgery but was told it wouldn’t be possible while she was living with long Covid.

“I felt like my only lifeline had been taken away. What other possible option is there when you have more than 15 stone to lose? Afterwards, I became increasingly depressed and felt defeated when, one evening, Grace Payne popped up on Instagram.

“I first followed Grace in 2016 and she had always seemed like such a light in the dark. It dawned on me that maybe she could help. She had been on her own journey, she had navigated life and all it throws at us and managed to maintain her weight and fight those food demons for good.

“If anyone could understand where I found myself it was her. I sent Grace a long message asking if she could help me, explaining I found myself in a place of do or die. I prayed she would respond and help me find my way out of the dark. And she did.”

Lindsey started on Plan in March 2021 on Step 1B and is now heading into a life of maintenance.

“I was unsure how it would all turn out, given all my previous weight loss attempts, but I determined to give it 100 per cent for me and my son,” she said. “I was resolute I wouldn't dig my own grave and miss out on him growing up.”

As the losses accumulated, Lindsey’s self-belief grew and she found that, for all the weight she was losing, she was gaining her life back tenfold.

“On tough days, I spoke to Grace and we fought together. Her support was invaluable and I’m proud to say that our relationship has grown into an incredible friendship.

“The process of working through the Steps all the way up to 5, allowed me to reset my relationship with food, rebuild new habits and find a freedom from the toxic cycle I had found myself in for years.

“A year ago I was a recluse. Every scenario I faced in life would be riddled with fear due to my weight. Would I be over the weight limit? Would I be able to run after my little boy? If we went out, would the seats take my size?

“This overwhelming terror meant I hid indoors, treating home and inactivity as my haven, while the weight crept on more and more.

“The 1:1 Diet has freed me from fear. I now live my life to the full, get involved, join in, throw myself into situations without fear or worry and it is a freedom unlike anything else. I don’t have the words to convey the entirety of how this has changed my life for the better.

“I started because I knew if I didn’t change I wouldn’t see my little boy I’d tried so desperately for grow up.  I can say now, not only do I get to watch him grow up, but I get to be involved wholeheartedly in his life without fear.

“The 1:1 Diet has given me my life back and given him a future with his mummy in it and, for that, I am eternally grateful.”