Big thank you from

That's no woman, that's my wife!


Joanne Finlay before she lost the weight
	Joanne as she is now
	WHO is that woman with Jim Finlay? It was a question more and more people were asking.

They saw the Manor Park man with a glamorous and thin woman and assumed the worst - that he had split up from his wife Joanne and he had found another woman.

What they didn't realise was that it was indeed Joanne, but that she had lost an astonishing eight stone in just six months making almost unrecognisable to friends and neighbours.

The mother of Courtney (11) and Robert (3) once stood at 19 stone and dropped from a size 26 to a size 12 with the help of the Lighterlife programme last year.

Joanne refused to weigh herself and survived on a diet of snacks and chips for dinner and lunch. When the children went to bed she would then gorge on buns and crisps.

Joanne says: "I have never been what you would call slim, but after falling pregnant my weight just crept up and up over the years until I eventually hit a size 26.

"It got to the point where I couldn't even walk up the stairs without getting out of breath. I avoided having my photo taken, but after seeing a snap taken with my daughter Courtney I realised just how big I was and I knew something had to change. ' Joanne had attempted to lose weight before but found it too difficult until she saw a Lighterlife roadshow she asked for information. She went to the doctors for a check up and was given a clean bill of health to join the local class.

In the first week she lost 13lbs and by the second had shed a stone. She ate porridge or a shake for breakfast, soup for lunch and dinner and a chocolate bar as well as three litres of water a day.

She began walking two miles a week, got a Wii sport and joined the gym. She admits that it was difficult at first but it got easier as she reaped the benefits.

"I had no goal weight but just wanted to get healthier. I never considered myself that big but my BMI was down and I had lost four stone in three months," said Joanne "Losing weight with LighterLife has changed me in so many ways. I went on holiday in February and was on top of a volcano, I was in the bottom of the ocean so many things I would have never have done before."

But the ultimate compliment was hearing her husband was being stopped by on the street from people commiserating with him on his recent marriage split.

"My husband came home and said someone had told him how sorry he was that we had split up," said Joanne. "Jim looked at him puzzled and said the person they have seen with was me, just that I had lost some weight. We had a good laugh at that."

Joanne's daily intake now includes cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch salad and chicken for dinner and treats herself once a week with a bar of chocolate or going out for a meal.

"I feel more confident and I'm now happy in myself for the first time in years," she said. "I have bought and actually worn a dress, something I have never done before. Losing weight has made me want to try all the things that scared me, so I've bought a swimsuit and I'm going to learn how to swim and I'm also going to take driving lessons and learn to play the flute."

For more information on Lighterlife call Jackie on 07882119839 or visit

Ulster Star