Determined Lostock Hall mum battles severe anxiety to shed more than four stone
An inspiring Lostock Hall woman has battled with severe anxiety to lose more than four stone.
Mum-of-two Danielle McLaughlin (25) has dropped from 14st 2lbs to 9st 10lbs in just seven months.
Danielle joined the weekly Lostock Hall Slimming World group run by Andrea Mills after the birth of her little boy Hugo to lift herself out of a dark place.
She said: "As a women who has suffered for many years with severe anxiety, finding it hard to even leave the house, this step was the biggest I'd made in my life. I accepted my life wasn't going the way I wanted it to and gave myself a chance to change it.
"Every week I wasn't only losing weight, I was losing the person I once hated being.
"I felt that little bit more attached to my fellow group members; also I finally felt like I belonged. The support and guidance given to me by my fellow members and of course my consultant Andrea gave me the strength I needed each week to really push myself to the best of my ability."
Danielle's hard work paid off and in just over half a year she smashed her target, slimming down to a size 8/10 for the first time in her life.
"I couldn't believe the number the scales gave me that day. It filled my body with so much emotion," she said.
"It was something so extraordinary and so new and exciting.
"I constantly get asked, 'what is your trick?' and honestly there is no trick. I can't express enough to everybody that I'm just a normal woman with a normal family who followed a simple and easy plan to get to where I am now.
"My confidence is now amazing. I'm just so proud of the person I now am, I have the confidence to be the woman I always believed I should have been. I have waited so long to feel so happy in my own skin."
Danielle's amazing transformation also gave her the courage to attend an interview for her dream job.
"It's something all those months ago I'd never dreamed of doing because I always felt so low in self-esteem and confidence because of how I looked," she added.
"With my new image and my new outlook on life I took the bull by the horns and went for a job I've wanted to do for so long.
"I felt fantastic that day, I put my everything into it and was delighted to receive the call that I was successful.
"My whole life has changed and it hasn't just been my diet. My relationship with my husband is so much more exciting. Now we go out and have fun together, something at one time seemed impossible because we always felt so tired and lethargic because of our terrible diet.
"Our family life has improved to the maximum and our kids have got the fun, active, outgoing parents they deserve. We enjoy walks to the park and running around with the kids. At one time that was our worst nightmare, we just stayed in with fear of ever doing anything that meant we had to be active.
"My healthy living has inspired many others, including my next door neighbour Claire, my co-workers and all of my family. I have met some incredible people at my group who now all hold such a special place in my heart and they are my second family."