South Tyneside resident Alison Berry, 63, “cried herself to sleep” for years, leading her to conclude that she needed to lose weight. At her heaviest, 22 stone, Alison realised she needed to change.

Alison wanted to reduce weight so that she could be the “greatest Nana ever” to her grandchildren and take them on adventures. She managed to shed an incredible 12 stone in only 18 months.

Alison’s suffered from diverticulitis, which she’d had for years before she started dieting and lost weight, was so wrong that she had to use the restroom as often as 40 times a day and once produced a potentially deadly flare-up that landed her in the hospital.

The 63-year-old woman finally realised she needed to make some changes and started dieting to improve her health and outlook on life.

Alison reflected on her choice and said “I finally saw that my existence was meaningless.

“I spent most of it in the hospital, and every time I went home, I thought, “This is it; this is how the rest of my life will look.

“The birth of my grandson changed everything; my daughter-in-law asked if I could take care of him during the day while she returned to work”.

“I yearned to take part in his life by accompanying him to the park, the pool, and the garden pop-up tent, but I was realistic about my limitations”.

“Keep him engaged all day? I couldn’t even cut my toenails”.

“If I continued down this path, I knew I wouldn’t be around to watch him grow up, which broke my heart”.

Alison’s weight has adverse effects on both her physical and mental health.

She said this in an explanatory detail: “My entire life was a lie; every time somebody asked me to do something, I would make up some reason not to attend”.

“My husband and I went on a vacation once, and I had a terrible time buckling my seatbelt, but I was too embarrassed to ask for an extender, so I sat perfectly motionless the entire flight towards home”.

“After witnessing a film of an air disaster, I developed a fear of flying; therefore, when it came time to plan our vacation for the next year, I told my husband that I couldn’t get on a plane because of my fear”.

“I wanted to travel, but I couldn’t bring myself to go through the whole seatbelt thing again because of my shame.”

The danger of her weight “causing grids and bridges to collapse” was something Alison “lived with every day,” she said.

She admitted that she had always wanted to do new things but had been prevented by shame and dread.

“When I look back, I can’t believe I didn’t do something about it at the time when I was mentally beating myself up about it every day”.

A trip to the fastest zip wire in Europe, in North Wales, was one of Alison’s “greatest moments” after she lost weight.

She could ride the zip line when she would not have been able to before she began her weight loss journey and dropped four dress sizes.

How did she manage to slim down?

Alison shed pounds by making “a few modifications” to her diet and “opting for healthier options”. She has reached her goal weight and is working to keep it there through a balanced diet and exercise routine.

She said, “When I first get up, one of my go-to breakfasts is a bowl of fruit and Quark topped with a few tablespoons of syrup.

“I usually have a salad with red cabbage, pickled onions, gherkins, chutney, and other flavorful ingredients for lunch to avoid eating too many carbohydrates”.

I’m a big fan of canned salmon salads and ham salads, and I even made up a dish—Pease Pudding wrapped in ham—that I call Geordie Sushi.

‘Normal cuisine, but with a few modifications,’ Alison elaborated.

She then exclaimed, “That’s how simple it is.”

“It’s about making the right choices, not about giving up all the things that you love. It’s all about food-optimisation, whether it be the way you cook it, the quantity you consume, or the ingredients you use.”

The 63 year old fitness advice is to “walk everywhere.”

She urged us to “just get up and move,” even if that meant taking a few laps up and down the stairs during commercial breaks.

I never do anything extreme; I never work out at a gym or anything like that.