Burnley grandmother Linda (67) swerves knee operation after shedding five-and-a-half-stone
Tipping the scales at a trim 10 stone six-and-a-half-pounds and sporting a size 12, it is hard to imagine that this time last year Linda Noddings was over five-and-a-half-stone overweight.
It is also difficult to believe that Linda got out of breath when she walked and was due to have an operation on her knees because the excess weight was putting so much strain on them.
Linda knew she had to do something drastic as the physical demands of caring for her brother, Tony Rushton, who has Downs Syndrome, were becoming too much for her.
When her stepdaughter, Kelly Gidley, suggested she join her at Slimming World Linda decided to give it a go.
Linda, who lives in Burnley with her husband, Keith, said: "At first I did really well and started to lose the weight but then it stopped and I got really disheartened and felt ready to give up."
A pep talk from Slimming World consultant Vicky Bradshaw, who runs the Ightenhill class that Linda attends, helped to get her back on track.
Stepmum of two Linda (67) said: "Vicky is absolutely fantastic, she gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going and is always there to help me with any problems.
"Without her and the support of the group I don't think I could have done this."
A former worker with children with autism and challenging behaviour, Linda was always on the go, so managed to keep the weight off. But when she retired at 62 it started to creep on.
She said: "I always knew I needed to do something about it but just never got round to it.
"It was when my doctor told me that I would need an operation on my knees because of the extra weight that made me realise how serious it was."
Now she has shed the weight, Linda, who has four grandchildren, no longer needs the operation which she is ecstatic about.
She said: "My GP said I will probably need it eventually because I suffer from arthritis but at the moment I don't need the operation and no longer use a stick."
It was also suspected that Linda may be diabetic but all the tests have come back clear.
Linda said: "I feel fantastic, it is like having a new lease of life but I now eat more than I ever did before it is all the right, healthy stuff."
Describing Linda as a 'true inspiration' to the group Vicky saying: "Linda now doesn't need the stick nor the operation which is wonderful for me as a consultant as it's not always about the weight loss but what it does for people health wise."