Donna Ludlow, 35, from Southport in Merseyside, weighed 17 pounds and suffered from sleep apnea when she decided to join her local group Slimming World.
Image: Donna Ludlow)
A store clerk who suddenly stopped breathing at night due to obesity has made a number of drastic changes in her life and has lost a massive seven stones.
Donna Ludlow had reached her peak weight in April 2019 – weighing 17 pounds and 6 pounds on the scale with a BMI of 44.
Inspired by a friend, she decided to join her local group Slimming World, reports the Liverpool Echo.
The 35-year-old, from Southport in Merseyside, decided to embark on weight loss after suffering from sleep apnea – where she stopped breathing throughout the night.
Donna, who now weighs 10lbs, said: ‘I was tired of looking at myself in the mirror and worried about my health.
“I regularly suffered from palpitations, which was really very frightening.
“I had a lot of pain, especially lower back issues and also had sleep apnea.
“I was waking up straight all night with a heavy inhale because I had stopped breathing.
“I always felt tired, didn’t have the energy to cook or exercise, which meant I struggled to lose weight.
“One morning I woke up and said, ‘It doesn’t have to be like this anymore. A friend at work recommended his local Slimming World group and I thought I’d give it a try.
“This decision changed my life.
“I lost more than 7th and I know I will always feel indebted to my friend for suggesting I join.
“I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t agreed to go with her.”
Donna’s experiences support Slimming World‘s research that weight impacts sleep.
A survey of 3,156 people showed almost two-thirds (62%) said they had trouble sleeping, with many waking up more than twice a night and fatigue affecting their diet and activity choices.
Members with a higher BMI were more likely to struggle with their sleep.
However, nearly 50% of Slimming World members who lost 15% or more of body weight said their sleep had improved after losing weight, and more than a third of members surveyed said they had been sleeping better since then. that they have joined Slimming World (38%).
Donna added: “Throughout my life I’ve seen my dress size go up and up.
“I often tried to lose weight on my own, but rarely lasted more than a month with all my efforts not to lose more than a stone.
“I’ve always been tall and a chubby kid growing up.
“I was bullied a lot in high school and I remember wearing a skirt one day and someone pointing at me laughing and shouting, ‘Look at Donna’s fat legs.’
“I was also worried about the health of my family, because in 2006 my mother had a stroke at the age of 45 due to her weight.
“I remember that day very clearly because it was one of the worst days of my life and one of those pivotal moments when life would never be the same.
“I really feel very lucky because luckily mum is still with us, but since that day I’m very conscious about my health.
“Deep down I was convinced that the same thing was going to happen to me and it was a source of great worry and stress.”
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Donna’s Slimming World consultant Dee Wright said: “Donna’s journey is incredibly inspiring, her transformation is incredible and when she shares in the group each week how active she is, how much her confidence has grown and that she enjoys life, it makes my heart sing.
“To think that Donna used to stop breathing all night is so scary.
“Since losing the weight, Donna has found she has been sleeping soundly, feeling healthier and achieving her dream weight. I am so proud of her.”