July 31 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 14, 2012
She could eat a packet of biscuits by breakfast, eight slices of bread by lunch, and would keep her two evening meals a secret from her husband.
Mum-of-one, 36-year-old Mandy Gant, from Felthorpe, near Taverham, was at her heaviest three years ago weighing 15st 7lbs, at a petite height of 5ft 4 inches.
But after suffering with depression and experiencing chest pains Mrs Gant decided enough was enough – she needed to lose the pounds.
Over 18 months the super slimmer shrunk to 9st 7lbs, losing almost 6st with the help of a slimming club.
After the former Norwich Airport security officer left her job she and her family were forced to move into rented accommodation in Felthorpe.
Mrs Gant found she could barely leave the house and felt ashamed and depressed about her weight and inability to stop eating.
She said: “My 12-year-old daughter Megan had quite severe ADHD which got me down a lot.
“I used to take her to school in Hellesdon in the mornings, and then come back to the house in such a state.
“I would just eat and eat and eat all day long.”
Mrs Gant and her husband Jason, a slaughterman at Blake’s abattoir in Costessey, lived in Horsford until their financial situation changed three years ago.
Then Mrs Gant was forced to change her job to a home carer, and as a result her family had a smaller wage and a smaller house, in a new area in Felthorpe.
She said: “I felt so low that I could eat six packets of crisps in one go, as well as other snacks. I can’t believe how I got myself into such a state.”
Mrs Gant’s father died 12 years ago of a heart attack, aged 42, and Mrs Gant says that once she started getting chest pains she realised something in her life needed to change.
She said: “His condition was hereditary and I went to the doctors with my pains and thought ‘I’m 34 and I don’t want to be on tablets for the rest of my life’.”
A few weeks later Mrs Gant’s friend Heather Blythe, a farmer from Horsford, dropped round a Christmas card to her house with a super slim figure.
Mrs Gant said: “I couldn’t believe how much weight she has lost and I just knew I had to do something.
“I had tried numerous diets over the years but they involved too much counting and measuring and I was always hungry.
“So I joined the Slimming World club at the Phoenix Centre on Mile Cross Road and have never looked back.”
Mrs Gant describes her nerves before the first class. She said: “I was peering through the door at everyone in the group. I felt really embarrassed about going along on my first night and thought everyone would be looking at me. But I was so wrong.”
Now the Felthorpe slimmer has normal blood pressure, and hasn’t had a panic attack for two years.
Mrs Gant said: “I realised that this is the year that I really wanted to do something.
“I used to pretend I had eaten less than I did and hide packets in the bin. I’ve really taken control back,”
Mrs Gant will now be running the slimming world group every Tuesday at the Phoenix Centre on Mile Cross Road in Norwich at 7.30pm.
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