ON the threshold of a new life, June Wild went for a routine health check.
Coming up to retirement, she thought she was fit enough to enjoy her new-found leisure.
But that health check turned out to be a stark wake-up call. June was told her Body Mass Index was at a dangerously high level and that she must lose weight or be at risk of stroke.
Her GP put her on a 12-week course with Weightwatchers and June has never looked back.
She has lost 10st in just 15 months and looks so different people often don’t recognise her.
“I feel great now,” said the former RE teacher who retired from Whitcliffe Mount enterprise college in 2011 after 28 years at the school.
June, who is 61 and lives at Thornhill Lees, weighed in at 22st when she got her health scare in May 2011. And she has now dipped just below her 12st target weight.
“I had always been a big girl and played at dieting,” she said. “As I approached my retirement, I knew weight was piling on but I did nothing about it. The health check frightened me to death. I was ashamed and kept it all to myself. Here was a new life about to start and I wanted to be fit to enjoy it.”
June said she didn’t find the dieting hard because treats are allowed and she plans to continue with classes to make sure she stays on track.
“I’ve needed more than one new wardrobe!” she said. “I was grateful just to reach retirement and I’m really enjoying having the time to visit friends, travel and do things.”
To anyone thinking of taking similar action she said: “It’s not a quick fix. It’s lifestyle change. I will now always have to be careful of what I eat. Much of my problem was comfort-eating. But if I can do it, anyone can.”
Born and bred in Dewsbury, June has also taught at Earlsheaton and Birkdale high schools.
Lyndsay Ellis, who runs Weightwatchers at Dewsbury sports centre on Sundays, praised June’s achievement. “She’s an inspiration,” she said. “Her head was held high every week no matter what she lost.”