A super slimmer is hoping to inspire others to a healthier lifestyle after overcoming two big health scares.
Ali Stokes, 47, beat breast cancer but was hit by a second health scare which required her to undergo a full hysterectomy which brought on early menopause.
Ali gained two stones in weight during her breast cancer treatment due to the stress and her change in appetite taking her to just over 13 stones.
But she managed to shed the extra pounds with her local Slimming World group and now hopes to help others by taking over the running of the class.
Regarding her double health blow, Ali said: “I thought the world was conspiring against me with my health.”
Ali, who is married to Mike, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and had to undergo seven tough months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but was thankfully given the all clear.
I thought the world was conspiring against me with my healthAli Stokes
But just as she was starting to think about getting back into shape she was diagnosed with a large benign growth which required a full hysterectomy to remove it.
Ali added: “In my mind I thought now I was going through the menopause I would never be able to lose weight.”
Ali, from Thornley and who works for Northumbria Water, tried a variety of diets, but had only short-term success.
She says the turning point was when she joined Slimming World in Wheatley Hill after her niece Rachel Bateson and sister-in-law Adele Williams both lost over two stones.
Ali, who tried to hide her heavier figure in baggy clothes, started tucking into healthy meals of meat, fish and fresh vegetables without missing out on her favourite treats.
She said the group members become like family and added: “I am so much more active now. I naturally just feel like I have more energy.
“On top of that I know being overweight increases the risk of developing cancer so to have reduced the chance of facing that again is an amazing feeling.”
From today, Ali takes over as consultant at the Slimming World group where she started as a member at Wheatley Hill Workman’s Club at 7.30pm.