A GRAN from Oswaldtwistle says she has been given a new lease of life after losing a massive eight stone in just 18 months.
Super slimmer Jacqueline Singleton is now able to play with her grandchildren and enjoy a healthier lifestyle after shedding the pounds with an Accrington slimming group.
The 46-year-old, who lives in Rowan Avenue with her husband Stephen and six-year-old granddaughter Chloe, said she was spurred on to start dieting when she saw a photograph of herself at a family wedding.
She also wanted to improve her health because three of her family members all died at a young age. Her brother, Shaun, died at the age of 37 and her parents, Walter and Sheila Blakeman, both died before the age of 50.
Jacqueline said: "There were several reasons why I wanted to lose the weight. One of them was that I had a family wedding and I bought myself this fantastic size 30 skirt and blouse for it."
"I thought I looked wonderful but when the photographs came back I was totally horrified. I was so upset that I didn't want anyone else to see them."
"I also had health problems - I had high blood pressure and suffered from breathlessness. I couldn't even walk down to the shops without being out of breath."
"Another reason was because Chloe lives with us and she's disabled, so she needs a lot of one-to-one care. Now I can take her swimming or to the soft play area."
Jacqueline, who has four grandchildren, said her previous diet included lots of sweets, chocolate, chips, pies and puddings.
She weighed nearly 19 stone and wore size 30 clothes when she joined Accrington's Weight Watchers in September 2002 - but after following their points-based diet, she is now a healthy 10 stone 11lbs, and takes a size 14 to 16.
She said: "It has made a huge difference to my life. I've got a lot more confidence and it's great being able to try on clothes or go to the gym."
"I'm a lot fitter too - my blood pressure is back down to normal and my doctor says that I'm healthier than him. My family and friends are all delighted for me - some of them didn't recognise me at first."
Doreen Farren, leader of the Accrington Weight Watchers group, said that Jacqueline attended its meetings at Cannon Street Baptist Church once a week.
She added: "I have been doing this for 25 years and I think this is one of the biggest successes we've had. Jacqueline looks brilliant and we're all thrilled for her."