Woman who lost eight and a half stone enjoying 'new lease on life'
PUBLISHED: 13:34 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:35 14 February 2020
Supplied by Cindy Farrow/Karen Bethell
This time two years ago, Sheringham charity shop worker Cindy Farrow's weight problems had spiralled so far out of control, she was convinced she didn't have much longer to live.
But now, after losing an incredible eight-and-a-half stone and dropping seven dress sizes, she is looking forward to a future as a "completely different person".
Ms Farrow, who signed up as a volunteer at Sheringham Salvation Army charity shop as a single mum of three 25 years ago, has been joint manager since 2006.
As well as sorting and pricing bags of clothing and homeware donations and looking after volunteers, her job sees her lend a listening ear to customers, many of whom drop in on a weekly basis for a coffee and a chat.
But beneath her bubbly exterior, Ms Farrow, 55, has struggled with feelings of low self-esteem, brought about by her lifelong battle with her weight.
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"I have been big since before I can remember," she said. "And, although I was sporty and it didn't really bother me at school, I was always the one to make a joke about my size before anyone else could and if I saw someone with a camera, I hid."
After her weight ballooned to nearly 24 stone ten years ago, Ms Farrow was told by doctors that, until she slimmed down, they would be unable to carry out the hernia operation she needed.
"I lost the weight, but two or three years later, it had crept back on," she explained. "I could barely get upstairs without getting out of breath, I had to walk sideways down the aisle of buses and I knew I had health problems but wouldn't go to the doctor as I think that when you're big, it's the first thing they pick on."
Tipping the scales at 21 stone just after Christmas 2018, she decided things had to change and signed up with her local Slimming World group.
"I thought if I don't do something, I'm not going to be here much longer," she said. "I was terrified going through the door for the first time, but the support at Slimming World was just phenomenal and once I started to lose weight, I began to realise what I had been missing."
Now down to size 14, Ms Farrow says she feels she's been given a new lease on life and is enjoying going to concerts with her two daughters and spending time with new grandson Hector.