A woman who lost weight after being insulted is now helping others in a similar situation.
Maria Robson, of North Shields, decided to change her life around after realising her weight was out of control.
She said: “I felt so overweight and frumpy. I was scared that when I turned 50 I was going to be even bigger and my health was going to deteriorate.”
After being insulted about her weight at a party, Maria joined her local Slimming World group in May 2013.
She has since dropped five dress sizes, going from a 22 to a 12, and has picked up several group awards.
Now Maria is keen to help others and has become a weight loss consultant for the business, opening a group at the Sure Start Riverside Children’s Centre, in Minton Lane, North Shields.
It meets every Monday. For details call 07940 049861.
Maria said: “I was so terrified about joining, walking into a room full of strangers, thinking they would be astounded at my size, that I took my husband with me.
“I was determined this time to lose a stone or two and wanted my husband to understand how whatever I was going to be told was going to work, so he could help me too.
“He needed to lose some weight too as after a heart attack in 2009 he was told his diet needed to change, but we hadn’t really changed much at all.”
She added: “After losing three-and-a-half pounds in my first week, never going hungry and enjoying every single meal I cooked, I knew this plan was for me.
“The following week I got more ideas from group and was astounded as to how easy and delicious the meals were to make.
“I have always had a passion for cooking since I completed a catering course when I left school and my passion has intensified now.”
Maria said: “My life has totally changed since I joined Slimming World and for the better.
“After losing the weight I am healthier, fitter and have an unbelievably positive outlook on life, and I’m already planning my 50th for next year.
“I have a wonderful social life and love eating out more than ever.
“I am the energetic nana I always imagined I would be.”