A LEIGH woman has become the cover girl of a top lifestyle magazine.
Weighing up to 13st 7lb, Lyndsay Collier never thought she would be the glamourous face on the front of a glossy magazine.
But six years on, after a lot of hard exercise and discipline, the 24-year-old is the lead feature in this month’s Slimming World and hopes her story will encourage others to lose weight.
Lyndsay, of Leigh, has glycogen storage disorder, which meant she had an enlarged stomach as a child.
Although her condition became more manageable as she got older, she piled on weight after her 17th birthday.
And when she found love with boyfriend Martin Gregory, now 27, they lived off pasta ready meals and take aways when they moved in together in 2009.
After a disastrous shopping trip trying on dresses for her 21st birthday, she decided she needed to take action and with her weight at 12st 9lb, (size 18), she joined Leigh Slimming World group.
She said: “I wasn’t happy with the way I looked or felt - I was tired a lot of the time and got out of breath if I walked up the stairs.
“I made a couple of half-hearted attempts at crash diets but I knew I had to do something if I wanted to be happy with myself the next time I got dressed up for a special occasion.
“What impressed me was how much I could eat with Slimming World.”
After three weeks Lyndsay earned her half-stone award and by five months, she had lost two stone.
But she then began to struggle to reach her 10st 2lb target, gaining weight at different intervals.
She said: “My biggest gain was three-and-a-half pounds, which was pretty discouraging.
“Even at my lowest point though, I knew that if I stuck to the plan, it would all be right the following week.”
After more perseverance, Lyndsay reached her ideal weight and set herself a new target of 9st 7lb, (size 12) which she achieved last summer.
As a result she was voted the group’s Miss Slinky and Woman of The Year.
She said: “That was such an honour and it made me proud to think I had inspired other members.
“I want to say a big thank you to the group as I could not have done it without their support.”
Lyndsay now uses her experiences to inspire others as she is one of the lead members of the slimming group, as she performs the weigh-ins.
Leigh Slimming World group, run by Angela Brown, meet at Leigh Miners Social Club, Off Twist Lane, Leigh every Wednesday at 6.30pm.
Lyndsay’s incredible weight loss story is featured in Slimming World, which is out now, priced at £2.75.