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How I lost weight - despite being confined to a wheelchair

PUBLISHED: 19:01 15 December 2019

Linda Tovey lost 3.5 stone and this is what she used to look like. Picture: LINA TOVEY

Linda Tovey lost 3.5 stone and this is what she used to look like. Picture: LINA TOVEY

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Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and being in a wheelchair hasn't stopped this inspiring Ipswich woman from changing her life through weight loss.

Linda Tovey was selected as Slimming World's 'Biggest Loser' in 2019, an honour for the most weight loss. Picture: LINDA TOVEYLinda Tovey was selected as Slimming World's 'Biggest Loser' in 2019, an honour for the most weight loss. Picture: LINDA TOVEY

Linda Tovey lives in Foxhall with her partner Sandy and lost 3.5st without doing any added exercise after joining a Slimming World group.

"I didn't put on weight because I was in the chair," she said.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there about weight loss," said the 69-year-old, who said it isn't all about what you eat.

"Slimming World teaches you a lifestyle where you can eat loads by just cutting out a lot of the saturated fats and making smarter choices."

The diet works well for Ms Tovey for several reasons, as MS sufferers are often advised to keep to a low calorie and low fat diet.

She also says her current diet means she never feels hungry.

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Ms Tovey was diagnosed with MS when she was 27 years old and is now confined to a wheelchair full-time, with her only free movement being swimming.

The buoyancy of the water helps her limbs to function and cools her body, which can help with the pain.

Ms Tovey trained in drama therapy and now volunteers for St Elizabeth Hospice once a week.

She said the stories of those who lose weight are incredibly inspiring and she has even shed a tear at her group meetings before.

"It's all about the companionship of it and it takes a while to get to know people but it builds up and we laugh so much at our group meetings," she said.

"The advice people can give each other is amazing and what you do when you lose the weight is a lifestyle change."

Mrs Tovey feels that it has helped her to be around other people who understand the journey she's been on and that group therapy can really use the power of friendships to motivate and support individuals.

When asked what her message would be to other disabled people wanting to make a lifestyle change, she said: "Think about it, look at a plan.

"Join a group and, if you don't like that one, then join another one until you find the right group of people to support you."

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