Beauty therapist's amazing new look
A north Norfolk beauty therapist has undergone a remarkable transformation, by losing more than 6 stone in just 16 months. Justeene Eke, who lives at Briston, began piling on the pounds after being sent to boarding school as an 11-year-old.
A north Norfolk beauty therapist has undergone a remarkable transformation, by losing more than 6 stone in just 16 months.
Justeene Eke, who lives at Briston, began piling on the pounds after being sent to boarding school as an 11-year-old. Homesick and unhappy, she turned to food for comfort, and by the time her parents came to collect her at half term, her appearance had changed so much, they didn't recognise her.
"They just walked straight past me," Justeene, 38, explained. "I had put on 2 and a half stone in 3 months and, although I lost the weight in the school holidays, I put it back on as soon as I went back."
This started a spiral of yo-yo dieting and, by the time she met her future husband in 1986, Justeene was a size 16.
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The couple married in 2000 and, having been told aged 21 she would never have children, Justeene was thrilled when, after their first attempt at IVF, she became pregnant with twins.
Tragedy struck however when doctors told Justeene that one of the babies, a little girl she last year named Jessie, had died in the womb at 17 weeks.
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Devastated, and terrified of losing the remaining twin, she again turned to food for comfort.
"I thought I had a ready-made family," Justeene said. "But the rest of my pregnancy was shadowed by the sadness of losing the baby, and I just wanted to sit and eat."
By the time she gave birth to son Archie, Justeene's weight had ballooned to 23 stone, and although, in the following few years, she lost more than 4 stone through a series of diets, it wasn't until she was hit by further trauma last August that she made up her mind to seek help.
"I discovered my husband was seeing another woman and, after he left, I decided I had to start my life again," she said.
Encouraged by her parents and brother Nick, Justeene joined Slimming World, which is run by Annette Smedley at Holt and, over the following 16 months, she lost more than 6 stone, with her confidence growing at every weekly weigh-in.
She is now a slim size 12 and, as well as being able to shop for fashionable clothes, she says has more energy - and can easily fit behind the wheel of her new mini.
"I had to drive a 4x4 before, Justeene explained. "And whereas I could never run around with Archie, we now go swimming and I can jump on the trampoline or go on the swings with him."
"Losing the weight really has changed my whole outlook; I can see the funny side of life now, and the world doesn't revolve around thinking about the next meal."
But although she admits losing weight has given her self-confidence a boost, Justeene is still struggling to accept the "new", size 12 her.
"Psychologically, I still feel like a fat person and I'll always pick up clothes that I know are two sizes too big, because I just can't face the disappointment of them not fitting," she explained.
However, she is determined to keep the weight off, and to live life to the full. She recently modelled at a fashion show hosted by a Holt dress shop, and is planning to travel abroad with 7-year-old Archie.
"The sky's the limit," Justeene said. "And when I think about eating now, I think, It's only food, why make such a big deal about it?"
Slimming World meetings are held at Holt Methodist Church at 6.30pm every Thursday. For more information, phone Annette on 01328 863776.