A woman has shared how changing her eating mindset kickstarted an incredible 12st weight loss after an audio programme helped her overcome her junk food addiction.
Lorraine Murphy, 64, from Berwick, says she has struggled with her weight since she was a child, spending most of her life on and off diets.
At her heaviest Murphy weighed 24st, but everything changed when she discovered an audio programme, which aims to retrain people's brains into eating more healthily.
After signing up to the Slimpod, 12-week programme, in March 2018, Murphy says the switch in her eating habits was almost instantaneous and provided the catalyst for her losing almost half her body weight.
Recounting her food battle Murphy says: "I was constantly on diets. One would stop and I'd put more weight on after making a loss because what I'd been eating was so restrictive.
"I did have some success," she continues. "I've lost three or four stone with each of them [the diets]. But when you're restricted, you can't sustain it.
"The weight came back and more besides."
Murphy believes she had a sugar addiction and says she survived on a carb-heavy diet of bread, cakes, and potatoes alongside sweet treats including chocolate, with her regularly consuming three bars of it a day.
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Her weight battles eventually took a toll on her mental health, leading to Murphy taking antidepressants and anxiety medication.
"It was upsetting too," she adds. "I went to a theme park in Turkey with my grand kids. They wanted me to go on the ride with them, and the bar that goes over your shoulders couldn't get past my stomach.
"I had to get off and my daughter went on instead. It ruined my day."
The turning point came when Murphy came across a slimming programme online, and despite being initially skeptical she decided she had nothing to lose by giving it a go.
"It predominately involved listening to a nine-minute voice recording which works with your subconscious, empowering you to have a better relationship with food," she explains.
"The change in my diet was pretty much instant. I just didn't want to eat the same foods anymore.
"But the weight didn't come off overnight - I had to believe in the process and myself."
Murphy says the programme is all about persuasion, imagining yourself as a slimmer person and how you would feel.
"There's a mantra that's in there - eat less, move more, choose better," she continues. "When I'm walking now, I repeat that to myself."
Over a period of four years, Murphy lost an incredible 12st, describing her weight loss as "the best thing I've ever done".
Murphy says the biggest lesson she's learned on her transformation journey has been to eat everything in moderation.
"I still have the odd glass of wine and piece of cake," she explains.
"I won't put weight on if I have one piece of cake. But if you're doing that constantly every day, then obviously you will.
"I've also learned the importance of exercise in maintaining weight loss. I walk every day now, and I do hula hooping too."
Other secrets to her weight loss include having the right mindset and making meals from scratch, having realised that a lot of processed foods she was eating were full of hidden sugars, which was exacerbating her addiction.
"The best thing for me has been learning so much about nutrition and also now having a normal relationship with food," she adds.
Since losing weight, Murphy has revisited the theme park in Turkey with her grandchildren, and she said she absolutely loves being able fit on the rides with them in her slimmer frame.
The weight loss has had an impact on her confidence too, inspiring her to wear a bikini for the very first time.
"I bought about five bikinis after I lost the weight," she explains. "I thought I can do this.
"I went away on holiday with my partner, and I didn't tell him because it was the first time he'd seen me in a bikini. I just stood there in the living room in our apartment. He was so gobsmacked and happy.
"He'd always told me to wear bikinis before, but I never had the confidence."
Murphy's diet before her weight loss:
Breakfast - Two slices of toast or croissants with cereal
Lunch - Sandwiches, crisps, and a sweet treat like a cookie
Dinner - Potatoes and chips
Snacks - Up to three 150g bars of chocolate a day, cakes, biscuits, and a ham and cheese croissant on the way to work
She would also have takeaway around twice a week with portions big enough to feed two people.
Murphy's diet now:
Breakfast - Fruit with yoghurt, nuts, and seeds or overnight oats
Lunch - A salad
Dinner - Vegetables, potatoes, and a protein source or a homemade meal like spaghetti bolognese
Snacks - Murphy rarely snacks anymore
Additional reporting Caters.