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Sharon Farrell loses half her body weight, winning Rosemary Conley title of Over 40s Slimmer of the Year
Sharon Farrell has been awarded Over 40s Slimmer of the Year by the Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Magazine
A woman from St Albans found the motivation to lose half of her body weight after a man on a bus told her he could not sit down because she was taking up two seats.
When Sharon Farrell stood on the scales in March 2010 they read 20st 3lb.
However when the elderly man loudly announced that there was not room for him to sit next to her, she decided she needed to change.
Thanks to a strict diet and exercise she now weighs 10st 1lb and can slip into a size ten dress.
She said: "Losing weight has had such a positive effect on my life.
"I feel like a totally different woman now.
"My life has changed completely and I know I will never go back to the way it used to be."
Her slimming success has earned her the title of Over 40s Slimmer of the Year, which is organised by the Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Magazine.
Although Sharon was always bigger than her friends as a child, it is when her father died when she was 19 the weight started to pile on.
In 2004 her mother became seriously ill and she had to care for her.
She said: "I was getting out less and less and eating all the wrong foods, like sausage rolls and pastries, crisps, chocolate and biscuits, plus a fat-laden ready meal or takeaway for dinner.
"If I did go out in the evening, I'd down about five or six pints of real ale."
In 2006 she was put on anti-depressants and shortly after, her mother passed away.
Sharon said: "I was in such a bad way and I was just existing, not living. "I was so unfit I couldn't walk anywhere without getting out of breath. Until the incident on the bus, I didn't have the impetus to do anything about it."
She joined a weight-loss club in 2010 and the weight began to drop off.
She said: "Everything felt so much easier after I had lost about 3st.
"My depression lifted, I felt happy for the first time in ages and was taken off medication."