St Annes mum survived covid after dramatic weight loss

Gemma joined Slimming World and lost 8 stone after she was unable to hold her son

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 3:48 pm

Gemma is recovering from catching Covid in September, but is grateful to be alive.

The 36 year old mother-of-three has lost 8 stone since 2019, and says if she still weighed 21st 12lbs, she would be dead.

“I owe my life to Slimming World,” says Gemma, of Highbury Road East in St Annes. She now weighs 13st 12lbs and has been attending weekly meetings at St Annes Parish rooms since September 2019.

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Gemma joined Slimming World and lost 8 stone after she was unable to hold her son

“I was so poorly that I couldn’t walk to the bathroom. I just slept. It was hard to breathe when I stood up. No way I could have got through it without losing all the weight.”

Lockdown was good for Mrs Mackrill’s weight loss . It made it easier to stick to meal plans without distractions. “There was no rushing around to do the shopping as everywhere was closed. It really spurred me on because I had so much time to prepare my food each day.”

Gemma had already lost 3st 10lbs when lockdown began in March 2020. It meant she could enjoy her time with husband Ryan, 39, and three children; Charlotte, 10; Caitlin, 6; and Cohen, 4.

“We had a full lockdown of playing outside. We went for daily walks in the woods and along the prom. I loved it. Now I can chase the kids around in the garden. I couldn’t do that before.”

Gemma and Ryan went on a Greek honeymoon in August 2019. A holiday snap was the eye-opener. “I couldn’t believe I’d got that big. I was horrified.”

At the time she was a size 22 - 24. She’d often have to stop for breath, and was unable to hold her son.. “I felt uncomfortable, and struggled to walk up the stairs. I had to do something.”

The St Annes mum developed postnatal depression in 2015, which spiralled. Her public panic-attacks meant she had to really push herself to start the Slimming World group.

“I’d go up to the doors. Panic would set in and I’d just go home. I’d think ‘I’ll do it next week’. Then I saw how amazing my friend looked after doing it - she became so confident. It gave the push I needed.”

She is now able to enjoy life with her family. “The kids have seen a huge change in me. I’m so much happier and healthier,with loads more energy.” Hubby, Ryan, who is a casino manager at Coral Island, has been supportive. “I catch him looking at me with amazement. He says I’m a new woman.”

Gemma has just been awarded the “Miss Slinky 2021” award in her group, and says the continued support is amazing.

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