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Meet the St Helens mum who’s lost more than five stones – and looks 10 years younger

12 months ago

Meet the St Helens mum who’s lost more than five stones – and looks 10 years younger
Emma from St Helens "before and after"

Emma lost 5st 9 ½ lbs, dropping from 15st 3½ lbs to 9st 8lbs, and changing from a size 18 to a healthy 10.

Emma McManus, a mum from St Helens, has had an incredible weight loss journey! After losing more than five stones the office supervisor says she doesn’t just feel better, she looks better too!

While Emma was delighted with how much healthier she felt, there were other unexpected benefits to her fantastic weight loss.

“Lots of people have commented that I look amazing and that I look 10 years younger,” says Emma.

“They don’t believe I’m actually 40, which is great … and an added bonus.”

Emma, from Eccleston had never had a problem with her weight growing up. A petite 5ft 1in, she was, she says, ‘always tiny’.

But as she got to her late teens, the numbers on the scales started to rise.

“When I was younger, I was always very slim, but when I got to about 18 or 19, I started having trouble with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which creates a tendency for weight gain and I just piled on the pounds.

“Then when you have children, you don’t think about it because you have other priorities.

“I used to say I’d go on a diet, but I’d do it for two weeks and that was it. My weight just crept up and up.”

Emma from St Helens "before and after"
Emma from St Helens “before and after”

Emma’s first wake-up call came two years ago when she faced a gynaecological operation.

She says: “When I went for my pre-op and got weighed the doctors said my BMI was too high and I needed to lose half a stone before they’d carry out the operation.

“That panicked me a bit, but I lost the weight for the operation and then I put it all back on again.”

But with the slimming seed sown, she goes on: “I realised I wasn’t happy. I looked at myself in my clothes and in photographs and I thought, I’m nearly 40. I don’t want to be fat and 40.

“It was during the lockdown heatwave. I was eating crisps at work all day and going home to BBQs and drinks in the garden at night.

“My weight was out of control and I realised that if I didn’t do something then, I never would.”

Emma joined Slimming World in June 2021, with colleagues from work: “We were doing it together and supporting each other.” And while she took a break when clubs were forced to go online during lockdown – ‘I wanted to be weighed and see people face-to-face’ – when they reopened, Emma went straight back.

“The other girls filtered out but I kept going because I could see the results and that spurred me on,” adds Emma, who’s married to Alan and has three children, Lucas, six; Ethan, 16; Adam, 19, and step-children Lauren, 18, and Jordan, 23.

Before Slimming World Emma’s diet was ‘horrendous’: “I’d sit at my desk all day and eat crisps, I never really thought about what I was eating. I work in medical centre and patients would often bring in biscuits and chocolates too as thank you gifts.”

For breakfast Emma would often have a full cooked breakfast with bacon, sausages and eggs fried in oil with white toast, or she’d skip it and go without.

Lunch would be a meat and potato pasty or a ham sandwich on white bread, and for her evening meal she’d have chicken fajitas, but she’d also have them with chips and mayo ‘and loads of cheese on the tortilla wrap’ and ‘fried chicken’.

Emma McManus from St Helens
Emma McManus from St Helens

“And I’d have crisps in the evening, Doritos or a tube of Pringles. And you know how the slogan is ‘you can’t put them down’? Well, I couldn’t. And if I had a drink, I’d have a couple of Malibus with coke, so it was all the wrong things.”

Now breakfast is fruit and yoghurt, and lunch can be anything from chicken salad to a jacket potato, or scrambled egg on brown toast, to a delicious homemade vegetable soup.

For her evening meal, Emma might have Iceland chicken skewers with salad or new potatoes, or a frozen Slimming World Meal. If husband Alan is cooking – he is the chef of the house – ‘he’ll make healthy versions of spag bol, a stir fry or a curry’.

Emma adds: “I go to the gym now and do around four classes a week including spin – which before I lost the weight I’d have thought I’d die! – a Define class which is cardio and weights and a dance-fit class.

“I’m aching when I come out but I love it and I feel fabulous. So when the buffets and the cakes and donuts come out at work now, I look – but I say no. I don’t want to put that weight back on.

“We went on holiday to Gran Canaria last summer and, having not worn a bikini for years, I had loads and I wore them every day.

“If I hadn’t done anything my weight would have just kept on going up. Now I love the fact that I’m not fat and 40 – and that I’m fit, fab and 40!”

For more news around St Helens you can click here.

* Emma went to Lisa Ascroft’s Slimming World Class which meets at Sutton Cricket Club, New Street, Sutton, every Thursday at 8.30am, 10am, 5pm, and 6.45pm. Tel: 07789 991657.

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