Long before lockdown, Middleton mum Lindsay Gully stopped going out for meals or enjoying nights out, because she felt so uncomfortable with how she looked.
Now, 4.5 stone and four dress sizes lighter, Lindsay, who is a teaching assistant in Middleton, is longing for lockdown to lift so she can show off her fabulous new figure.
Lindsay, 36, who has two daughters aged seven and 15, has gone from a size 18 to a size 10 and her newfound confidence means she is eagerly waiting for life to return to normal so she can start socialising again.
Recalling how she felt before she lost weight, she says: “I felt low in myself, always down.
“I had low moods, didn’t want to go out for meals or nights out because I’d feel disgusting and hated the way I looked, and when I did go out I was moody and it was always in the back of my mind how I looked.
“I used to buy clothes just to cover as much as I can, never clothes I particularly liked.
“I just got them because they would hide more.
“Then lockdown started and I didn’t do any exercise and started piling even more pounds on.
“My feelings were so low and miserable. I was fed up, verging on depression but putting a smile on my face for others. “
Lindsay attended Openshaw Bodyline clinic where she took Phentermine – “gastric band in a pill” – as some have called it, as part of medicated weight loss with Bodyline.
She says the initial appointment was relaxed.
The nurse checked her weight, measurements and blood pressure, asked her a few questions about her medical history, discussed short term goals, then prescribed the medication that suited her which allowed her to control her portion sizes, she says.
“I still eat carbs like potatoes, pasta and rice but now I’m much more aware of calorie amounts in certain foods I’d have thought were a lot healthier,”Lindsay says.
“The main change in my diet has definitely been smaller portion sizes.
“I think the majority of us overeat without realising.
“I always put my meals out on a small side plate now rather than a dinner plate.
“I still have a treat at the weekend like pizza or an Indian takeaway, but I make sure I’m quite strict in the week.
“I also use my Fitness Pal everyday to keep an eye on calories, carbs, sugars and protein, just to make sure I’m not having too much of one thing. As for exercise, I’ve not really done as much as I usually would, because obviously all leisure centres are closed at the moment but that is what’s next for me now.
“Getting back to the gym, toning up a little and getting even more healthy.”
Lindsay says her husband Darren, 37, who has his own security company, loves the fact she has got her confidence back and feels good about herself again.
“He is happy knowing I’m happy,” she says.
“Now I buy clothes I actually like and I know I can near-enough buy whatever I want and not just big, baggy tops.
“This has been one of the most rewarding things to me, I just can’t wait to get them all on.
“Now I just feel a million dollars. I want to get out, get dressed up and feel good again.
“I can’t wait for things to reopen and get out with friends and family.
“The impact on my life is everything, I feel good about myself which has been a very distant memory.
“I’m happier in every aspect, even down to being a mother and wife, I’m a lot easier to be around now I’m happy in myself, feeling healthy is one of the best feelings, I don’t feel bloated or sluggish at all.”
Speaking of Bodyline, Lindsay says: “If I can do it, anyone can. It’s the best thing I have done.
“They are really easy to talk to and make you feel so comfortable, especially in the early days when it’s all new and you don’t really know what to expect.
“It has literally changed my whole life.”