A SCOTS mum, of five has shed a third of her body weight because she feared for her life.
Maggie Houston, 44, has lost over six stones and dropped five dress sizes in just over a year.
She decided to take the drastic action after learning her father and sister both suffered heart attacks in their forties.
Now Maggie, from Burntisland, in Fife, is brimming with confidence and is feeling healthier than ever.
At her heaviest, Maggie topped the scales at a massive 19 stones.
But after joining her local slimming club, her weight plummeted to a trim 13 stones.
Maggie said: “I had been trying to lose weight on and off for around ten years but nothing seemed to work.
“But when my sister had a heart attack in her forties I knew I really had to do something.
“Heart disease runs in the family and I thought if I go, who’s going to look after my kids?
“I join the classes and haven’t looked back.
“It was slow at first but then the weight just started to drop off.”
After splitting from her husband two years ago, the single mum lacked confidence and a family trip to Blackpool also spurred her into action.
She added: “I took the kids to Blackpool as a family treat but was really embarrassed when I couldn’t get the seatbelts and harnesses on at the funfair.
“It was then I knew enough was enough.”
Maggie admits she hasn’t cut out the amount of food she eats, but the trick she says is to eat healthily and exercise.
And the part-time admin student’s drastic lifestyle change helped her to land the Slimming World’s Woman of the Year award for her area.
She said: “I still eat the same amount of food, I’ve just cut out all the rubbish.
“All my food is now home-made and I’ve started to walk everywhere.
“I still get a buzz when people I know walk past me in the street to see their faces when they eventually recognise me.”
Ann Shankland, who runs Slimming World said: “The message I’m giving people this new year is that with the support of like-minded people anything is possible.
“I know times are tough financially, but looking after your health and wellbeing is a priority.”