THIS time last year, Tayport mum Gail Harris could barely walk the 50 yards to the bus stop without being out of breath.
Today, she walks the eight-mile round trip to her work in Dundee almost daily – thanks to a massive weight loss that means she’s literally half the woman she used to be.
Gail (43) weighed 17 stone and took a size 26 when she decided enough was enough.
She was exhausted after being on her feet all day in her job as a sales assistant; her knees were sore and she was short of breath.
On top of that, she hated the way she looked and her confidence was an an all-time low.
“I’d tried all sorts of diets over the years but after losing weight initially it just piled back on,” said Gail.
“In desperation, I went along to a Gwen McCreadie class in Tayport being run by Isobel Harris (no relation).
“I only lost 3lbs the first week but as time went on it began to fall off more steadily. My target weight was 9½st but within about nine months I was 9st – and this time it’s stayed off.
“The Gwen McCreadie eating plan is great because it’s very healthy and you don’t feel you’re being deprived of anything.
“Even so, I couldn’t have done it without Isobel. She was my rock.”
Now Gail is a trim size 10, has a glamorous new wardrobe and a busy social life.
Best of all, she’s healthier than she’s ever been.
“I’ve got a new lease of life,” said Gail.
“I’m much more confident and outgoing, and my workmates have commented on how much happier and more energetic I am.
“I actually feel like a different person.”
Gail’s husband Alistair and children Fraser (18) and Chloe (15) are also immensely proud of her – to the extent that Fraser and Chloe have even posted photos of their new slimline mum on their Facebook pages.
“I am really delighted that they’re so proud of me,” said Gail.
“It made my day when I heard that my teenage daughter had posted a photo of me!”
Isobel, who runs classes in Ladybank and Tayport, said, “When I first met her, Gail was very overweight and very withdrawn.
“Now I am so very proud of her. She is absolutely amazing.
‘‘Her personality has changed completely; she has so much confidence in herself – but most important, her health problems have been alleviated.”