A Paisley grandmother who became a near recluse after a terrifying heart attack has turned her life around thanks to an eight stone weight loss.
Ann Barrowman’s near-death experience in 2016 left her fearful of going out alone.
The 71 year old collapsed while out shopping, only to be saved by a passer-by who did CPR before the ambulance arrived.
The devastating ordeal came just one year after she lost her husband Alex, with the two events leaving Ann “scared of life”.
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Over the next five years she became increasingly isolated with her poor mobility worsened alongside her weight gain.
But things drastically changed for the former land lady last year when she met Martin Bryan, a consultant for the 1:1 diet by the Cambridge Weight Plan.
In just 18 months Ann has lost eight stone, dropping from 18 stone to 10 stone.
More importantly, she has a thirst for life and a hectic social life.
Ann told the Express: “The years 2015 and 2016 were life changing for me, some of the hardest I’ve had to deal with.
“Sadly, I lost my wonderful husband who passed away in September 2015 and two became one.
“Shortly after in 2016 my health took a turn for the worse and while out shopping I collapsed and suffered a major heart attack.
“I underwent a double heart bypass and was medically dead for over one hour as they repaired the damage.
“Recovering from two major life events in such a short space of time was extremely difficult. My heart needed time to mend, both emotionally and physically.”
She added: “After everything that happened I became scared of life.
“I found it difficult to leave the house in fear of what happened that day I went shopping.
“If I did go out someone would have to be with me all time.
“My mobility was poor and I was often spending £40 per week in taxis to get from A to B.”
But 2021 would also become a life-changing year for Ann who, after struggling with her weight for 40 years, shed almost half her body weight.
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She was inspired to kickstart a healthier way of life with the help of Martin, who she met through her son James.
He too had battled his weight but was “like a new man” after taking part in the 1:1 diet with Martin’s support.
She was initially sceptical of doing the diet herself because his consultant was “a man”, but was finally convinced to start her own journey in April 2021, weighing 18 stone .
“Looking back on the majority of my life, I realised that for more than half of it I struggled with my weight,” she said.
“My husband ran a busy pub, so life bringing up my son and running a business could be a challenge especially when it came to food choices as convenience generally won out over healthy home-cooked meals.
“So many times I told myself Monday is the day, Monday is when I take back control but that Monday never came until 40 years later.”
She says the one-to-one support offered by Martin was the motivation she needed as previous attempts at losing weight in group classes didn’t work for her.
She said: “I found the 1:1 diet different because of the tailored support I received. I couldn’t have done it without him. His constant support helped keep me on track and so my Monday had finally arrived!
“Now, 71 years old and eight stone lighter I have a newfound zest for life that has helped me overcome health issues and mobility issues.
“As a result of my weight loss I now walk everywhere.
“I have gone from being a near recluse to being much more independent.
“I’m spending more time with my family and often collect my granddaughter from school.
“I take care of my older sister as part carer and have joined a local carers’ walking group. Martin often tells me that I’ve a better social life than him!
“It feels great that I now have the ability to do this. It’s taken me 40 plus years to achieve my goal but I’ve finally arrived and I’m grabbing all opportunities to live with both hands.”
Doing it with her husband Alex at the forefront of her mind, she added: “He would be really proud of me.
“I would always tell me to ‘go for it.’ He was always really encouraging.”
Martin weighed just over 27 stone at his heaviest in February 2019, but was down to 15 stone ten months later.
He decided to take control of his life after a trip to his GP revealed that his life could be at risk if he continued with his lifestyle.
Martin lost an incredible 11 stone in total himself while on the Cambridge plan, and is now a consultant covering Paisley.
He added: “Ann has been a dream client.
“A lot of people want to lose weight but are maybe not in the right frame of mind. Ann has thrown herself into this.
“Of course she’s had a few weeks with a busy social life when she’s thought I’ve had a terrible week but she’s kept going.
“I’m so proud of her and now it’s just about maintaining her new healthy weight.”
People can get more information on the Cambridge diet by emailing Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
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