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4 January 2013, 06:00
A mother and daughter from Elmswell have lost 14 stone between them to win a Slimmer of the Year Award.
Mum, Lynn Bennington, who used to weigh 16st 8½lb and wear a dress 22/24 shed 6st to now weigh 10st 8½lb and wear a dress size 12/14, and daughter Hollie, who used to weigh 19st 10lb and wear a dress size 22/24, lost 7st 11lb to now weigh 11st 13lb and wear a dress size 12.
Lynn and Hollie received their Mother and Daughter Slimmers of the Year 2013 award at a glittering ceremony held at the London Marriott County Hall Hotel on Thursday 3rd January.
53-year old Lynn had been overweight for over the last 20 years but, after meaning to do something about her weight for ages, it was only when Hollie, 23, decided she wanted to slim down, that Lynn went with her to their local Rosemary Conley class in February 2011.
Lynn’s weight problems began when she started working night shifts at a care home for the elderly, and she kept up a non-stop intake of chocolate, crisps and sugary or high-carb snacks. Her weight gave her lots of aches and pains and her ankles and legs would swell. Backache became part of her life and on one occasion her back froze when she bent down to help one of her patients. Her doctor advised she should lose weight but still Lynn did not take action. A year later, the same thing happened again. “I knew being overweight was making it worse,” says Lynn, who could barely move, let alone exercise.
At school Hollie was bigger than her classmates and bullies picked on her for it. “When I was about 12, I ballooned massively. Bullies called me ‘Bubbles’ after a fat comedy character in Little Britain,” says Hollie, who was a size 18 by the time she was 16. And, when she was at college, Hollie found the canteen was filled with temptation. “Every day I’d have a sausage baguette with cheese – they were my addiction,” adds Hollie.
When Hollie suffered the embarrassment of having the seams of her size 22 trousers burst open when she bent down to pick something off the floor – and was shocked to discover the only ones that fitted to replace them were size 24 – it was the catalyst she needed to do something about her ever-increasing weight. “I refused to buy the size 24 trousers and was really angry with myself for getting so big so I decided there and then I was going to get into shape.”
The benefits for Hollie, a nursery practitioner, of losing weight have been huge. “Before I started the diet I was getting back pain almost every day and found it difficult to keep up with the children at work. Now I’ve got loads more energy and my fitness levels just keep on improving. A 10-minute walk used to leave me breathless but in September I did an 11-mile charity walk and it was a breeze,” says Hollie.
“It was really good fun losing weight with mum. We’ve always been close but this had brought us closer. We encouraged each other to stick to it,” adds Hollie.