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53-Year-Old Grandmother Sheds Nearly 100 Pounds After Her Doctor Told Her She'd Be 'Dead Within A Year' If She Didn't Slim Down

Michelle and Steve Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

This incredible grandmother went from refusing to wear a swimsuit for nearly 40 years, to shedding almost 100 pounds "within a year."


After being terrified by her General Practitioner, she decided to change her lifestyle in order to see her grandchildren grow up. Michelle Stanley began an intense process.

Her husband, Steven, decided to join her in her new lifestyle and they both decided to lead healthier lives.

Michelle Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I went to the doctors for a check-up and my blood pressure was sky-high. After having an ECG, to measure the electrical activity of the heart, they also found mine was racing dangerously fast," Michelle said.

“The doctor turned to me and said, 'If you don't change your ways this time next year you won't be here.' I couldn't believe he'd basically told me I was going to die, or at the very least, have some serious health issues very quickly. Looking back, I'm so glad he told me so bluntly. If he hadn't, I might not have taken it as seriously."

Michelle Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“The thought of dying terrified me. I wanted to be around to watch my grandkids grow up – and I thought 'Enough is enough,'" she said.

“As soon as I got home, I chucked out all the junk food. I used to smoke, too, so I chucked all my cigarettes out – straight away changing my life for the better."

Now, two years later, Michelle and Steven are leaving a healthier lifestyle.

“Between us, we've lost 11 stone. I've lost seven stone (98 lbs) – which is basically the weight of one of my grandchildren," she said. “Before, I could barely walk a few meters down the road without feeling out of breath."

Michelle and Steve Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“Instead of asking me to run around with them in the park, my grandkids would say like, 'Nana, please can you bake me a cake,'" she continued.

A self-confessed “couch potato," Steve used to finish everyone's leftovers. Now, he has noticed a massive improvement to his health, because of the change to his lifestyle.

“Steve's bad eating habits stemmed back to when the kids were young – he was the first one to finish off their left-overs," Michelle said.

Michelle and Steve Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“He had asthma, so didn't really exercise and wouldn't think anything of sitting at home and having a few beers, while making his way through a big bar of chocolate or a big bag of peanuts," she continued.

“Now he always comments about how lovely it is to be able to bend down and do his shoelaces up without being out of breath."

They say that snacking was the main problem.

“At weekends, I'd skip breakfast and then, around 10am, I'd raid the cupboard for biscuits," Michelle said. “Then, half an hour later, I'd be looking for something else – usually crisps. I could eat three packets per sitting."

“For lunch, I wouldn't think anything of cutting huge chunks of cheese and eating it with crusty bread – and then thinking, 'I could have a cream cake now.' For dinner we'd always have a hearty meal. We'd have things like roast potatoes, and we'd cook them in fat with loads of full-fat milk and butter."

Michelle and Steve Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“Or, we'd have fish and chips, pizza or a takeaway, like a Chinese or Indian," she continued.

“We'd always have salad with our meals, but that was more for color."

Michelle and Steve Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Her work schedule did not help make her eating habits healthier.

“I'd get through four cans of full-fat coke, three packets of crisps, chocolate bars, pot noodles, sandwiches – I'd sit there and fill my face," she said.

A size 12 for the first time since she was 16, Michelle admits that she and Steven egged each other on when it came to overeating.

“We were such bad influences on each other when we went food shopping," she said.

“We'd be walking down the aisle and I'd see something like a cake. I'd say, 'Oh that looks delicious,' and Steven would say, 'Go on, treat yourself,' so I would. Or, we'd pick up a loaf of fresh bread, or a bar of chocolate just for the sake of it, or, because we fancied it at the time."

While she loved her food it took its toll on her self-esteem.

“I hated clothes shopping," she said.

“Like most women, I love my clothes – but I hated buying them. I never felt glamorous in clothes and I could never find them to fit me. Sometimes even a size 24 was too tight. I'd never try anything on in the changing rooms either. I'd get in and out of the shops as quickly as possible."

Michelle Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Even self-conscious in front of her husband, she covered up whenever possible.

“On holiday I'd refuse to wear a swimming costume and at home I'd wear baggy clothes," she said. “There was no way I'd ever let him see me in just my underwear."

“He'd say things to me like, 'I still think you're sexy,' and, 'You look lovely,' but I'd always question it in my head and think, 'Is he just saying it to make me feel better?'"

Michelle Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

But he was there to support her when she started changing her habits.

“Steve gave me his full support and said he'd help me as much as he possibly could," she added. “He said he'd do the healthy eating thing too, to support me. I never called it a diet, because I didn't see it as a diet. It was about trying to make healthier choices."

Embarking on a complete lifestyle overhaul, they began as they meant to go on.

“The first thing I said was, 'Right, let's have breakfast,' because it gets your metabolism going," Michelle said. “We started eating poached egg on toast, or yogurt and fruit, and I used sweetener instead of sugar in my tea."

Michelle Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“For dinner we ate simple things like jacket potato and beans, or meat and salad," she continued.

“I still had crisps, but healthier, lower calorie crisps. And I bought individually wrapped cheeses, so I could monitor how much I was eating."

To her surprise, healthy eating was easier than she had expected.

Michelle Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I kept thinking about my health and the fact that I was told I could die if I didn't change my ways," she said. “It put everything into perspective."

“I want to be alive to watch my grandchildren grow up and if that means baking a healthy cake using chickpeas, rather than scoffing a cream cake then so be it."

To stay motivated, in April the couple also joined their local WW slimming club.

“I still felt really big, and didn't want to go by myself, so Steve said he'd come with me for moral support," Michelle said.

“After one week I loved it. I lost half a stone on my first weigh-in and it was so motivating. But I wouldn't go to a meeting without Steve. We motivate each other and I feel much better with him by my side."

They still treat themselves sometimes.

“We went on holiday to Turkey last summer and I must've put on 12lb in two weeks," said Michelle. “But when I came back, I got straight back into WW and lost it all again within a month. It's all about balance and still enjoying life."

Even though the couple indulge in the occasional treat, they now put their health first.

“Steve says he'd never have lost weight without me. He loves the healthy meals I cook nowadays, and he's even got into the gym – something I never thought I'd see," she added.

Michelle and Steve Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“He loves the fact he can walk for miles with our Bichon Frise dog, Ella, and go out and about without being out of breath with the grandkids," she continued.

“Losing weight has done wonders for my confidence. But, most importantly, it's done wonders for my health. We took our grandkids out to the park the other day and my granddaughter said, 'Nana you can run now' and I was like, 'Yes, yes, I can.'"

Michelle and Steve Stanley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I'd never lost the weight without Michelle, I went to WW and ate healthily to support her," he said, “It benefited me because I've lost weight too. Now I feel fitter than I ever felt and we've got a much better lifestyle than we've ever had and that's all thanks to Michelle."

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