Mum warned she would die loses 20 stone to scoop the Slimmer of the Year award
A WOMAN who lost almost 20st after being told by her doctor that she could be dead within two years has dropped 12 dress sizes to be named Slimming World's Woman of the Year 2011.
Carole Wright, 54, from Southport, Merseyside, weighed almost 30st and was virtually housebound, unable to perform simple tasks such as putting on her shoes or loading the washing machine - leaving her house just four times between January and September 2009.
In just over two years, Ms Wright has lost 19st 10lbs and 27 inches from her waist after attending her local Slimming World group.
She said: "The last time I weighed 10st I was 10 years old! My life is completely different from two years ago. I've got a job in a sandwich shop so I'm talking to customers and on my feet all day.
"I don't have pain in my knees anymore and I haven't used my inhaler for over a year. I can do all of the little things everyone else takes for granted like putting my own shoes on, painting my toe nails and walking up stairs - in fact, I run up them now!"
The award-winning slimmer, who has always been known as 'Big Carole', has not only suffered from weight-related ailments, but has faced bullying and criticism about her size since she was young.
Ms Wright said: "I was called names as a child and as an adult. Strangers in the street would make rude comments and the kids next door would shout abuse when I was hanging out the washing.
"I tried to lose weight on my own but within days I'd be back to eating unhealthily."
It was soon after her 50th birthday in 2007 that Ms Wright's weight started getting dangerously out of control, at a time when she was forced to quit working due to a crippling knee injury.
She added: "I couldn't do anything for myself anymore. I couldn't stand to peel potatoes or go upstairs without crawling on all fours.
"I relied on my asthma inhaler constantly and my son Jonathan, who's now 15, had to help around the house. All I ever did was watch television or sit on the computer.
"It got to the stage where I wasn't only trapped inside the house, I was trapped in my own body too and I couldn't see a way out."
It was during the nine-month period in 2009 when she left her house just four times that Ms Wright received a shock warning from her GP.
"If you don't do something about your weight, you're going to be dead in two years," he said.
Terrified by this stark warning and feeling humiliated at a barbecue in August of that year, Ms Wright decided it was time to make changes and embark on a project which would potentially save her life.
She attended her first slimming class in September and even though she was shocked at her initial weight, she is now a trim size 10 and has never felt better.
She said: "Weighing almost 30st was a huge shock and I burst into tears. That was hard, but the group was so instantly supportive - as soon as they saw my tears they all gave me hugs and words of encouragement.
"They gave me the confidence to give it a go. Since then they've become like family to me. They've supported me all the way through my journey.
"For the first time in my life I feel normal and it's a great feeling. Slimming World has not only given me my life back, it's saved my life because I know if I hadn't lost weight I'd have been dead by now."