Donna loses four stone after shock of visit to see her GP
DONNA Wilkinson had struggled with her weight all her life, but it took a visit to her GP to realise the danger it posed to her health.
The 25-year-old teaching assistant from Dartford Place, Bradeley, was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome in September 2012, a condition which comes with the risk of potential infertility.
And when the doctor told her that her weight played a factor in contracting the condition, Donna, also a part-time student at Staffordshire University, resolved to do something about it.
"I always knew I had problems with my weight, but it really hit home when the doctor said it could affect my fertility," she explained.
"This syndrome could see me not able to start a family with my husband, it was very scary.
"I was really upset, it really was a big shock – I didn't know what to do, so I just threw myself into losing weight."
Donna had been a chronic yo-yo dieter before, constantly losing a large amount of weight before piling the pounds back on again later.
However, with her latest news, she has vowed to buck the trend.
When she eventually banishes the bulge, she intends to keep it that way.
She said: "I've always battled against my weight, going on diets and losing three stone, but I'd always end up back where I started.
"But after the diagnosis, I decided enough was enough and decided to get on top of my weight for good." Donna began attending her local Slimming World in Bradeley, where she was put on the 'Extra Easy' plan, which allows dieters a certain measure of unhealthy food in moderation.
"It's really easy – it's like the old-style red and green days, except it's mixed together so it's no way nearly as strict," she said.
"Honestly, it's such a relief that it's so lenient, you can take a break to go out at night or eat some unhealthy stuff.
On top of her new diet regime, Donna also exercises regularly – whether from the comfort of her own home with the Wii Fit game, or getting out and about walking with her sister.
And although she admits she was reluctant to start, Donna soon found herself enjoying her newfound hobby.
"Walking is just so relaxing – I really enjoy myself while doing it and there's a real sense of accomplishment that comes with it," she explained.
"I regularly go walking for four miles with my sister – it's great."
Despite losing a four stone – dropping from 22 stone to 18 – Donna is first to admit that she has a long way to go if she is to reach her target weight of 11 stone.
Yet she is still very proud of her achievements so far, and feels a lot better in herself than she did five months ago.
"I do feel a lot better, but really, I'm aiming towards losing another four to five stone and reach my target weight," explained Donna.
"However, I do feel fantastic now and my family have all been so supportive, they all say that I look much better."
And if Donna continues to drop weight at this rate, she might yet achieve her goal of starting a family.
But while she says that having a child is her primary target, she hasn't ruled out getting a whole new wardrobe before she eventually becomes a mother.
"I'm not doing this in order to improve my appearance or anything like this," she said.
"But I'd be lying if I said that I'm not look forward to eventually fitting into size ten dresses."