The expression ‘new year, new you’ is one you can expect to hear a lot of at the moment but one woman who it mostly definitely applies to is Greenlaw’s Ashley Robertson.
Ashley is starting 2014 almost four and a half stone lighter than a year ago having battled with her weight for a number of years before deciding to do something about it.
It was going away on a summer holiday last year which was the catalyst for Ashley’s dramatic change.
Instead of relaxing and enjoying herself without a care in the world, Ashley spent the trip feeling very self-conscious and on returning home deleted pictures of herself so no-one else would see them.
She also grew tired of her size getting in the way of playing with her children so decided to bite the bullet and join her local Weight Watchers group.
That was back in October 2012 and since then Ashley has lost a staggering 60lbs; sticking to her mission despite the breakup of her relationship.
“I never ever dreamed I’d get to my goal weight, even losing five per cent of the weight seemed like a big ask at the time,” she said.
“For me it was the first time stepping onto the scales that was the worst bit. I actually cried but then once I knew how heavy I was I felt loads better as I had something to focus on.
“I didn’t see breaking up with my partner as a sad time for me. People who hadn’t seen me in a while thought I’d lost a bit of weight due to the stress of the split. If anything it made me even more determined. I was never tempted to reach for the chocolates or anything because I was upset.”
Nursery nurse Ashley is now a size 10/12, meaning she can enjoy shopping trips to whichever stores she likes, something that is taking a bit of getting used to.
“I remember one of the first times I went shopping after reaching my goal weight.
“I picked up a size 14 pair of trousers and a woman was like ‘they’ll be way too big for you’. I suppose I still thought of myself as bigger than I was. You get so used to seeing yourself in a certain way so it’s weird that people are now seeing me as a role model and asking me for advice.”
The main catalyst for Ashley’s major slimdown was her children and she’s happy to report that it’s now them who are struggling to keep up with her.
“I’m just glad that I’m not the fat out of breath mum anymore.
“The summer was great as I got to run around and chase them and it was them who were out of breath rather than me!
“They think it’s fantastic that their mum now has all this energy.
“I’m still sticking to a healthy eating plan and knowing which foods to avoid has become second nature.”
Ashley reached her goal weight with guidance from her group leader Rebecca Mills who says she is incredibly proud of her.
“When she first joined up she reminded me a lot of myself when I first started to lose weight.
“She was very quiet and didn’t have much confidence at all but now she’s a lot happier. I can’t believe how different she looks; it’s like a different person.
“I know Ashley’s story will really motivate a lot of people out there who are not happy with the way they look and feel.
“Ashley overcame personal challenges on her journey and has really proven that you can achieve your dreams when you set your mind to it.
Rebecca runs a class in Duns at the Volunteer Hall on Wednesdays at 7pm. For further details ring 07553472486.