Nan who feared falling through ceiling drops from size 26 to 12

A nan who was scared she would fall through the ceiling after getting in the bath has dropped from a size 26 to a size 12.

Geraldine Hardman, 53, grew up being told to finish everything on her plate, and thinks it led to her overeating. At her heaviest she weighed 21 stone at 5ft 2in tall.

Geraldine, who doesn't work due to a disability caused by spinal arthritis, lost ten stone in 2016, after following a restrictive diet of weight loss pills, shakes, chicken and spinach. But as soon as she started to allow herself to have different foods she began putting the weight back on, again reaching 21 stone, and was back to square one.

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The mum-of-five and nan of 13 has since tried drinking concoctions of apple cider vinegar and olive oil to try and lose weight, but after initial success she piled on the pounds.

In 2023, weighing about 14st 3lb, Geraldine discovered Voy, a weight loss programme that combines appetite-suppressing injections with one-to-one support from health experts, and she has gone down a whopping seven dress sizes in just six months.

She now weighs about 11st 5lb and feels as though her relationship with food is improving, and is determined to continue her weight loss in a sustainable way.

Geraldine, from Middleton, told PA Real Life: "It got to the point where I was so heavy that I was petrified to walk over drains or get in the bath because I thought I'd fall through. I'd always wear baggy clothes and had no confidence. Now I can play with my grandchildren again."

Growing up, Geraldine always had a difficult relationship with food. She said: "My mum came from an Irish background and whenever she cooked anything, in the 70s, things were a bit tight my mum had a couple of jobs,

"She used to tell us to finish everything on my plate and if I didn't eat it then, I'd have to eat it for my next meal. It sounds a bit harsh but it's true.

"So now, it's been on my mind my entire life that I should finish everything on my plate, even if I'm full."

When Geraldine was about 12 years old, she began putting on weight. She said: "I was pretty self-conscious and I'd cover up all the time I'd never wear skirts or anything like that.

"My mum used to call it puppy fat and when I did lose some weight, I still saw that person in the mirror and so I still dressed in baggy clothes."

But after giving birth to her son Brandon in 2000, she slowly began putting on weight and by 2016 weighed 21 stone.

Geraldine said: "There's not a weight loss product out there that I didn't try I've drunk apple cider vinegar and olive oil with lemon and cayenne pepper because I thought that would work.

"I had quite bad depression because of it, and I started getting aches and pains my disability, my arthritis of the spine, started kicking in because I was so big and I developed spinal spondylitis.

"I've got weak hips and I've got something called peripheral neuropathy and get constant pins and needles in my legs."

As it was taking a toll on her health, she decided to try to lose weight.

She said: "I started eating things like spinach and chicken and was taking slimming tablets and shakes.

"I lost 10 stone in 10 months but as soon as I stopped being restrictive it all came back on."

In 2023, Geraldine was again determined to lose weight, and came across Voy, a weight loss programme that combines weight loss medications alongside one-to-one coaching from a team of coaches, clinicians and nutritionists, with an emphasis on building healthy habits.

Through the programme, Geraldine has taken two types of weight loss injections, Wegovy and Trulicity, which are also widely used as diabetes treatments.

According to the NHS, Wegovy, also known as semaglutide, is a weight loss medicine that works by making you feel fuller and less hungry, and according to Diabetes UK, Trulicity is a GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist for people with type 2 diabetes.

It has also been shown in clinical research studies to be beneficial for losing weight, compared with a placebo, when used in combination with diet and exercise.

Wegovy's active ingredient is semaglutide, which has become well known as a weight loss injection used by celebrities.

Geraldine said: "It's been criticised so much, like with Sharon Osbourne, but there are people that succeed from it different people can suit different medications.

"I came across Voy by accident, actually, I was Googling what the best weight loss tablet was and seeing what the main ingredients were.

"And then Voy came up and I had never heard of them before, so I thought I'd give it a go."

Since signing up to Voy, in just six months Geraldine has lost more than two and a half stone and has gone from a size 26 to size 12.

She said: "It's been amazing so far, it's given me every tool I've needed to lose weight and I think differently about food. The injection suppresses my appetite, so I'm not hungry all the time like I was before. My portion sizes are better now and I'm eating so much healthier and actually enjoying it.

"I used to have kebabs a lot, and now I have things like chicken breasts and wrap them in bacon and put peppers and olives and mushrooms around it.

"I put that in the oven and add a few potatoes and some salad and that fills me up."

On the way her weight loss has improved her self-esteem, Geraldine said: "I feel very confident but I didn't until my daughter saw me wearing baggy clothes and told me to show off my weight loss and now I feel good. I feel absolutely amazing looking at myself now."