Wanting to be the “best Nana ever” to her grandchildren and healthy enough to take them anywhere, Alison decided to change her diet and lifestyle in order to lose weight. In just 18 months, she lost a whopping 12 stone.
Before her weight loss, Alison suffered from diverticulitis, a debilitating condition that caused her to go to the toilet up to 40 times a day and resulted in a life-threatening flare up, causing her to be hospitalised.
This was a huge wake-up call for the 63-year-old who decided to lose weight to be healthier and happier.
Looking back at her decision, Alison told Express.co.uk: “I realised that I was wasting my life.
“I was spending most of it inside a hospital, and when I would leave the hospital, all I could think was ‘this is it – this is how my life is going to look from now on’.
READ MORE: Gregg Wallace shares foods he ate to lose 4.5st – ‘Wasn’t a struggle!’
Alison’s physical health was affected by her weight, but so was her mental health and wellbeing.
She explained: “My entire life was a lie – whenever someone would ask me to go and do something, I would find an excuse as to why I couldn’t go.
“We once went on a holiday abroad, my husband and I, and I was having serious trouble fastening my seatbelt. I didn’t want to ask for an extender, so I managed to buckle it up and had to sit so still on the journey home.
“When it came to booking next year’s holiday, I told my husband that I had a phobia of flying after seeing a video of an air-disaster, and was now too scared to fly.
READ MORE: Diet: Expert warns against common mistake
Alison recalled one of her “best moments” post-weight loss when she visited the fastest zip wire in Europe, located in North Wales.
She was allowed on the zip wire, whereas if she had been there before her weight loss journey, she would have been four stone too heavy for it.
How did she lose weight?
Alison lost weight by making “a few tweaks” and the “right choices” when it came to her diet. Now, she continues to follow a healthy diet to maintain her ideal weight.
She explained: “I tend to wake up and have a bowl of fruit and Quark with some of my favourite The Skinny Food Co syrups.
“I try not to eat too many carbs at lunch – I’ll usually have a salad containing red cabbage, pickled onions, gherkins, chutney – things with lots of flavour.
“I love a tinned salmon salad, or a ham salad. I’ve even created my own cuisine called Geordie Sushi, which is Pease Pudding wrapped up in a piece of ham.”
Alison added that she eats “normal foods, but with a few tweaks”.
“That’s how easy it is,” she said.
“It’s all about food-optimisation – whether it be the way you cook it, the quantity you eat, or the ingredients you use, there’s always a way to make something healthier. It’s about making the right choices, not about sacrificing all the foods that you love.”
As for exercise, the 63-year-old’s top advice is to “walk everywhere”.
“Just get up and move, even if it’s just walking up and down the stairs while the adverts come on the telly,” she said.
“I never do anything drastic – I never go to the gym or anything like that.”