TIPPING the scales at nearly 18 stone, Lynn Dignan knew something had to change.
Lynn was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) aged just 13. She had been ill for a while and doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her until finally she was given an official diagnosis.
Over the years Lynn, who lives with her husband in North Road, Clifton, has at times become immobile due to the degenerative disease. Just eight years ago she couldn’t walk less than 100 yards unaided and lost her eyesight.
But the lively 36-year-old is currently fighting fit and raring to go, claiming the popular Slimming World diet saved her life.
Lynn said: “I’m not in control of the MS. If it wants to take hold it will but I’m as fit and healthy as I can possible be. I take a lot of drugs that encourage me to eat more. With Slimming World I can do that but it’s all the right stuff. It’s not all salad.”
When Lynn was really poorly eight years ago, she was forced to give up full time work.
She said: “My mobility got so bad that I had to give up work. I was unemployed for three months and I hated that. I became fat and lazy.
“A big slap in the face for me was when I realised I’d be too heavy for a two man lift if I was ill and needed to go to hospital. That’s so humiliating.”
Around 18 months ago, weighing in at 17 stone ten pounds, Lynn decided to join Slimming World. She went from a size 20 to a size 14, losing five stone. She did so well on the diet that when a consultant job arose last year she took the opportunity and currently runs groups on a Wednesday evening at the United Reformed Church in Hillmorton Road.
Lynn, who also works as a lollipop lady at various schools around town, said: “I’m well chuffed. I honestly believe that Slimming World saved my life. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had, knowing that you’re helping someone.
“It fits around my life. I have to have a nap every day, so I can sleep for three or four hours before I go out. I then come alive in front of everyone before coming home and collapsing again.”
Since joining Slimming World, Lynn has dreamt of setting up a group in Clifton where she lives. Originally she was told she couldn’t due to the small population, however she has now been given the go-ahead to launch a group there at the end of this month.
Lynn said: “That was my dream. I’m so made up. I’ve always wanted to set one up in Clifton. I think it will be fab.”
To speak to Lynn about joining the Clifton group then call her on 07925 407091. The weekly session will take place on a Friday at 9.30am in Townsend Memorial Hall in Lilbourne Road.