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Self-confessed party girl, 23, who would drink TEN pints of cider on a night out reveals going 'sober for October' saw her shed five stone - dropping from a size 18 to a size 8

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/10/2018 Jo Tweedy For Mailonline
© Getty

A woman who would think nothing of drinking ten pints of cider on nights out with her friends has revealed how a charity challenge sparked her weight-loss journey.

Senior carer, Dionne Mein, 23, from Newcastle saw her weight shot up to 15st 8lbs after she drank the occasional glass of wine during the week and to excess at weekends. 

A diet of takeaways and sugary food left the 23-year-old self-confessed party girl feeling unhappy about her weight, but it was the popular Go Sober campaign that kick-started her decision to get fitter and healthier. 

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Friends and family were cynical that Dionne would be able to complete the challenge in October last year, but she did, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support - and shedding 7lbs in weight.   

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a person standing posing for the camera: Senior carer, Dionne Mein, from Newcastle, weighed in at 15 stone 8lbs at her heaviest and would regularly drink wine in the week and up to ten pints of cider on a night out  © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Senior carer, Dionne Mein, from Newcastle, weighed in at 15 stone 8lbs at her heaviest and would regularly drink wine in the week and up to ten pints of cider on a night out 

The surprising effect of making just one change to her unhealthy lifestyle left Dionne adamant she was going to turn her life around.

After committing to healthy eating, exercise and only drinking alcohol on special occasions in January this year, 5ft 6ins Dionne has lost 5st and is now a svelte size 8.

Dionne from Newcastle said: 'Nobody thought I was going to be able to go sober for October.

'I was drinking a lot. I would come home after work and have a couple of glasses of wine and then drink loads of pints at the weekend. I was out partying all the time and then after a night drinking I'd eat loads of takeaway.'

a woman holding a wine glass: Last October, Dionne, 23, decided to stop drinking for a month to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support - and found that she lost 7lbs in just four weeks  © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Last October, Dionne, 23, decided to stop drinking for a month to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support - and found that she lost 7lbs in just four weeks 

'I decided to go sober for October to raise money for Macmillan and my mum doesn't drink so it was a little thing for her too.

'In just a month I lost half a stone, I couldn't believe it. I never imagined I would lose any weight let alone half a stone after making such a simple change.'

However, the real impact of her boozy nights out really hit home for Dionne when October ended and she slipped back into old habits.

a couple of people posing for the camera: Dionne's boyfriend Dean Irving, 24, has been hugely supportive and helped her not give in to temptation when it comes to drinking and snacking on unhealthy foods © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dionne's boyfriend Dean Irving, 24, has been hugely supportive and helped her not give in to temptation when it comes to drinking and snacking on unhealthy foods

DIONNE'S DAILY DIET: BEFORE AND AFTER

WHAT DIONNE USED TO EAT:  

BREAKFAST: Fried bacon, fried eggs, baked beans and toast with jam

SNACKS: Biscuits and chocolate

LUNCH: A McDonald's Big Tasty burger with large fries, a large Fanta, five chicken dippers and a toffee sundae

SNACKS: More biscuits

DINNER: Chinese takeaway of house special chow mein with chips, curry sauce, salt and pepper chicken and prawn crackers

SNACKS: Ben & Jerry's peanut butter cup ice cream

DIONNE'S DAILY DIET NOW:

BREAKFAST: Porridge with fruit

SNACKS: Protein shake

LUNCH: Hummus with grilled chicken and peppers

SNACKS: Pop chips

DINNER: Homemade chilli con carne with brown rice

SNACKS: Protein pancake

Dionne said: 'Last October ended and I went straight back to drinking and that half a stone went straight back on.

'Then in January I decided I was going to do it properly, I was going to lose weight.

'I cut out the alcohol, I made simple healthy changes to my diet and I started exercising.

a woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Quitting the booze was the catalyst Dionne needed to embark on a weight-loss and exercise plan. A year on, she's cut her alcohol intake from around 49 units a week to often zero

Quitting the booze was the catalyst Dionne needed to embark on a weight-loss and exercise plan. A year on, she's cut her alcohol intake from around 49 units a week to often zero
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

'I never calorie counted, I just did what seemed right. I stopped eating takeaways and started cooking at home.

© Getty

'People think you have to eat salad every day but I hardly ever eat salad and I've hit my target.

'Now I'm a size 8 and I can share clothes with all my friends. I am so much happier and healthier.'

After swapping fry ups and Chinese takeaways for home-cooked healthy meals and cutting out snacking on biscuits and chocolate, Dionne lost a stone in a month but needed another boost.

While looking for motivation on Instagram, the carer stumbled across a competition where all she had to do was like a video to be in with a chance of winning a personal training session - and won.

Despite being so unfit that her first session made her physically sick, Dionne persevered and now trains at the Warehouse Performance Gym in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, for six hours a week.

a couple of people posing for the camera: Dionne's boyfriend Dean Irving, 24, has been hugely supportive and helped her not give in to temptation when it comes to drinking and snacking on unhealthy foods © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dionne's boyfriend Dean Irving, 24, has been hugely supportive and helped her not give in to temptation when it comes to drinking and snacking on unhealthy foods

Shedding her excess weight hasn't only improved Dionne's fitness and lowered her BMI from 35 to 24 - from obese to healthy - it has also boosted her self-esteem.

Her newfound confidence has made Dionne feel like a new woman and she says without it she never would have met her supportive boyfriend Dean Irving, 24.

Dionne said: 'My weight had really started to affect me physically. Just walking around would leave me so out of breath.

I was never happy before, people have always seen me as a bubbly person but I was just using that as a front.

a woman standing in a garden: Confidence: The 23-year-old says losing weight has made her feel re-born and she has a new-found confidence © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Confidence: The 23-year-old says losing weight has made her feel re-born and she has a new-found confidence

'It even started affecting my job. I work in a care home and people rely on me for help but I was struggling with simple tasks like helping them put their shoes on.

'It was horrible feeling that way at such a young age. I was just 22 and I was struggling to help the elderly people in my care.

'After losing the first stone I really needed some extra motivation and winning the personal training session was perfect.'

Despite the sessions proving physically tough, Dionne says she had an 'amazing' trainer in PT Nathan and that her whole outlook on life has changed. 

'I was never happy before, people have always seen me as a bubbly person but I was just using that as a front.

She adds: 'I would make jokes about my weight to hide how much it was upsetting me. I had no confidence, I tried to hide under big baggy clothes. 

'Since losing weight I am so much more confident, I'm like a different person. If I hadn't gained so much confidence I don't think I ever would have met my boyfriend.

a person standing on a sidewalk: Ditching takeaways and cooking from scratch has also helped Dionne keep the weight off © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ditching takeaways and cooking from scratch has also helped Dionne keep the weight off

'Dean has been on his own weight loss journey so we can support each other and cook healthy meals together. It really helps to both have the same goals.

'I never thought I would be where I am today. It's taken hard work but it has completely changed my life.'

As well as eating healthy and exercising, Dionne, who has gone sober for this October too, now only drinks on special occasions reducing her alcohol intake from around 49 units a week to 0 most weeks.

After realising how a simple change could transform her life, Dionne is encouraging other people to do the same whether it's cutting down their alcohol intake or swapping fast food for home cooking.

Dionne said: 'For anyone struggling with their weight I would tell them to just make simple changes. Don't start by cutting everything out, just take it one step at a time.

'Alcohol and takeaways were my main vices so I dealt with them first.

'You don't need to starve yourself or go on any fad diets. Start by just having smaller portions or focusing on eating more fruit and veg.

'I still make food I enjoy, I just make sure it's all fresh and healthy.'

Related: These Are the 35 Top Bodyweight Ab Exercises to Chisel Your Core (POPSUGAR)

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