MOTHER and daugther Lynn and Hollie Bennington have always been close and even shared the same problems with their weight but after shedding almost 14 stone between them they have now become even closer than ever.

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The dieting duo, who live in Elmswell, have been named Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Magazine Mother and Daughter Slimmers of the Year 2013 after mum, Lynn, shed 6 stone and her Hollie 7st 11lb.

Mum used to weigh 16 stone 8½lbs and wear a dress 22/24 but now makes the scales at 10 stone 8½lbs and wears a dress size 12/14 and Hollie, who used to weigh 19 stone 10lb and wear a dress size 22/24 now weighs 11 stone 13lbs and wears a dress size 12.

The pair are two of 12 Slimmers of the Year 2013 who have lost a staggering 102 stone between them and they received their award – along with £1,000 cash – from Rosemary Conley, CBE, at a ceremony held at the London Marriott County Hall Hotel, this morning.

Fifty-three-year-old Lynn had been overweight for over the last 20 years but, after meaning to do something about her weight for ages, it was only when Hollie, 23, decided she wanted to slim down, that Lynn went with her to their local Rosemary Conley class.

Her weight problems began when she started working night shifts at a care home for the elderly and she kept up a non-stop intake of chocolate, crisps and sugary or high-carb snacks.

Her weight gave her lots of aches and pains and her ankles and legs would swell.

Backache became part of her life and on one occasion her back froze when she bent down to help one of her patients.

Her doctor advised she should lose weight but still Lynn did not take action.

A year later, the same thing happened again.

“I knew being overweight was making it worse,” says Lynn, who could barely move, let alone exercise.

At school Hollie was bigger than her classmates and bullies picked on her for it.

“When I was about 12, I ballooned massively. Bullies called me ‘Bubbles’ after a fat comedy character in Little Britain,” says Hollie, who was a size 18 by the time she was 16.

And, when she was at college, Hollie found the canteen was filled with temptation.

“Every day I’d have a sausage baguette with cheese – they were my addiction,” adds Hollie.

When she suffered the embarrassment of having the seams of her size 22 trousers burst open when she bent down to pick something off the floor – and was shocked to discover the only ones that fitted to replace them were size 24 – it was the catalyst she needed to do something about her ever-increasing weight.

“I refused to buy the size 24 trousers and was really angry with myself for getting so big so I decided there and then I was going to get into shape.”

Lynn and Hollie joined the Rosemary Conley Club, in nearby Norton, in February 2011.

By April, Lynn had shed almost 2 stone. By October she weighed 12 stone 5lbs and by April 2012 she was down to 11 stone. Losing a further 6lbs she now weighs 10stone 8lbs.

With her new figure came a new confidence for Lynn and the courage to apply for a new job.

She is now a senior care assistant in a day centre and no longer suffers with back problems.

“I used to get out of breath trying to get upstairs – now I can run up them. It’s a great feeling,” says Lynn.

Hollie, who thought she weighed around 16 stone, was shocked to weigh in at 19 stone 10lbs at the first class.

But, within the first week she had lost 7lbs and by sticking to the diet and exercising she lost an impressive 7 stone 11lbs within 19 months.

The benefits for Hollie, a nursery practitioner, of losing weight have been huge.

“Before I started the diet I was getting back pain almost every day and found it difficult to keep up with the children at work. Now I’ve got loads more energy and my fitness levels just keep on improving.

“A 10-minute walk used to leave me breathless but in September I did an 11-mile charity walk and it was a breeze,” says Hollie.

“It was really good fun losing weight with mum. We’ve always been close but this had brought us closer. We encouraged each other to stick to it,” adds Hollie.

For details of Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs, in Suffolk, call Karen Perkins on 01787 238233 or visit www.rosemaryconley.com

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