Published: 00:01, 21 February 2019
A woman shed nearly half of her bodyweight so she could be a better mother to her son.
Housewife Alison Gregory, of Istead Rise, lost more than 10 stone after she “went into a freefall”.
The 33-year-old admitted she had struggled with weight issues her whole life, and was more than 14 stone as she entered her teens.
She was later diagnosed with Lipoedema - a rare condition which mainly affects women and creates an abnormal accumulation of fat under the skin - which can cause life-threatening complications.
As a result, Alison’s legs would often swell up and she would pile on the pounds. She said: “Deep inside I knew that something must have been wrong. Mum treated us all the same, I didn’t secretly eat more, yet somehow, I was getting bigger than my siblings. By the time puberty hit, my legs were swollen in an unusual way and I was piling on pounds.”
By the time the mother-of-one hit her 20s, her weight was up to around 21 stone and she had visited a number of doctors who all gave her the same response: “Lose some weight.”
"We both turned to food for comfort. I went into freefall, a downward spiral." - Alison Gregory
After marrying husband John in 2010, her condition began to affect them both. She said: “We both turned to food for comfort. I went into freefall, a downward spiral. Instead of eating nutritious foods, we fell into the bad habit of comfort foods and takeaways. It was a results of mood changes and laziness, but it just added to the misery. We were always grumpy and unhappy with ourselves.”
The couple had a son who was born with a chromosome disorder which meant he was extremely hyper. Neither John or I were fit enough to keep up with him. Also, I spent long days shut in the house self-conscious of my size, not wanting to venture outside and face the stares and comments,” Alison added.
However, a light in the mother’s head just switched when she saw a picture of herself at a New Year’s Eve party which “shocked her into submission”. It was then she accepted it was just the Lipoedema that was causing her problems.
She soon joined a local weight watching group and nervously weighed in at 20st 6lbs on her first visit. Alison said: “I walked in looking only at the floor, I felt sure, that I would be stared at when I weighed in. Sensing my discomfort, a lady came straight over to me, put her arms out and gave me a hug. Since then we have become good friends.”
Tackling her self-destructive comfort food mood was a priority for Alison, who used her son as motivation to work hard and hold a positive mindset that would help her lose the weight.
She said: “We worked on my mindset, thinking positively every day. I was going out into the fresh air for a walk anytime I started to feel low instead of reaching for food. I started buying fresh ingredients and became creative in the kitchen which began having a ripple effect in my home.
“We wanted to be better parents, and this was what we needed. Instead of finding our son’s hyperactivity exhausting, we were keeping up with him.”
In just two years, Alison dropped more than 10 stone and weighs just under 10 stone now, while her husband dropped five stone.
She added: “We are both feeling better about ourselves, and bringing our family closer. It feels like finding happiness all over again.”