A mother-of-two who shed 3st after quitting alcohol is now proud to show off her size 6 frame at the gym.

Cheryl Gillings, 47, a carer from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, dropped from 12st 4lbs to 9st 5lbs after swapping boozy weekends for bicep workouts.

She explained she started using alcohol as a crutch following the death of her father Colin when she was a teenager. At one point she was drinking four bottles of wine a week. Click To Tweet

Cheryl Gillings, 47, a carer from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, dropped from 12st 4lbs to 9st 5lbs after swapping boozy weekends for bicep workouts. Pictured, Cheryl before her weight loss

 

Cheryl Gillings, 47, a carer from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, dropped from 12st 4lbs to 9st 5lbs after swapping boozy weekends for bicep workouts. Pictured, Cheryl before her weight loss

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Cheryl, pictured after her weight loss, started going to the gym after quitting booze. She now enjoys working out four times a week and said she has never felt better about herself

 

Cheryl, pictured after her weight loss, started going to the gym after quitting booze. She now enjoys working out four times a week and said she has never felt better about herself

‘I turned to alcohol to deal with any sort of stress, if I had a bad day at work, I would have a drink on the evening,’ she explained. ‘Without fail I would have a bottle of white wine at home every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.’

In 2017 Cheryl’s brother Steve, who was also a heavy drinker, took his own life and she realised she needed to ‘make a change’.

She continued: ‘I wanted to be there for my children, to support them. I joined multiple support groups on Facebook and reading their success stories helped me a lot.

‘It was difficult on the weekends or special occasions as people would always say “just have one” but as the weeks passed – it got much easier.

Cheryl, pictured before, started using alcohol as a crutch following the death of her father Colin when she was a teenager. At one point she was drinking four bottles of wine a week

 

Cheryl, pictured before, started using alcohol as a crutch following the death of her father Colin when she was a teenager. At one point she was drinking four bottles of wine a week

 

Cheryl, pictured today, lost three dress sizes in three months after signing up to a programme in May last year. She feels better physically but said the mental health benefits are greater

 

Cheryl, pictured today, lost three dress sizes in three months after signing up to a programme in May last year. She feels better physically but said the mental health benefits are greater

 

Cheryl’s diet before

BREAKFAST: Nothing or two slices of toast with peanut butter

LUNCH: Cheese sandwich with crisps

DINNER: Spaghetti Bolognese or chicken and chips

EXTRA: Three to four bottles of white wine a week

Cheryl’s diet after

BREAKFAST: Meal replacement shake (pre-breakfast) and quinoa

LUNCH: Chicken salad wrap and an afternoon meal replacement shake

DINNER: Turkey Bolognese with veg (no pasta) or homemade pizza. Late-night snack of porridge or yoghurt

EXTRA: 3l water and coffee/green tea

‘It has become more socially acceptable to be a drinker rather than a non-drinker in this world we live in, but alcohol has either taken or ruined the lives of some people very close to me. I am now happier and healthy for the first time in my life.’

In May 2019, after a year without alcohol, Cheryl joined the Six Pack Revolution, a fitness programme that offers 24/7 support, meal plans and fitness plans. She dropped three dress sizes in three months.

She continued: ‘After 18 months without alcohol, I still felt sluggish and tired, so I decided to do something about my weight. My husband Hylton, 46, has always been into health and fitness so he encouraged me to change my lifestyle.’

Cheryl now shares her husband Hylton's love of fitness (pictured together after the weight loss). She said her healthy lifestyle has also helped her blood pressure and high cholesterol

Cheryl now shares her husband Hylton’s love of fitness (pictured together after the weight loss). She said her healthy lifestyle has also helped her blood pressure and high cholesterol

ALSO READ: Best lifestyle changes to lower high blood pressure readings in 2020

Cheryl shared a snap of her weight loss diary that tracks her amazing progress since May last year, above. Not only has Cheryl gained muscle but she has lost inches over her body

Cheryl shared a snap of her weight loss diary that tracks her amazing progress since May last year, above. Not only has Cheryl gained muscle but she has lost inches over her body

Cheryl now works out ‘religiously’ three to four days a week and no longer suffers with high cholesterol and blood pressure.

‘I love exercising and enjoy working out of a weekend,’ she said. ‘I feel like a totally different person.

‘I used to automatically set myself up for failure and say “I can’t do that” but now I am willing to give anything a go. I can do 100 press ups whereas before I could barely walk up the stairs without losing my breath.’

She added: ‘I have fun without alcohol, and I am making memories with my family that I can actually remember. Most importantly, my mental health is great and I do not suffer with anxiety or stress anymore.

‘I am now able to save more money to give my family a better future and I am no longer waking up with a headache.’

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