09:05 AM

Maxine loses 245lbs without surgery after ‘diet or die’ warning!

A 39-year-old who turned down weight-loss surgery despite being told that she could be dead within a year if she didn’t slim down has shed 245lbs by changing her diet.

Maxine Wren, from Chester-le-Street in County Durham, England, dropped an incredible 13 dress sizes – going from a 34 to a 6/8 – and has been named Slimming World’s 2018 Woman of the Year.

After delivering the devastating news, her doctor prescribed weight-loss pills and referred her for gastric bypass surgery. However, a month later when she discovered her sister was expecting a baby, she decided surgery was too much of a risk, declined the operation and joined Slimming World instead, weighing 390lbs. Since March 2013, she’s dropped to 144½lbs.

Maxine says: “The weight-loss pills made me so sick that I had to stop taking them. Plus, I didn’t want to die on the operating table and never meet my nephew, so I decided to join Slimming World instead and I’m so glad I did.”

She has struggled with her weight since very young, having been born with a rare bone disease, called Blount’s disease, which affected her mobility and meant at her heaviest Maxine struggled to walk without crutches. She turned to food to comfort her through the pain, and throughout her adult life she tried weight-los clubs, calorie-controlled shakes and fad diets to get her weight under control but, sadly, nothing worked. Maxine says she became resigned to the fact that she was meant to be big: “I painted a smile on my face but inside my heart was broken.”

Her size left her struggling with asthma and low energy levels, and worsened her symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, too. People would also stare and point on the street, which affected Maxine’s self-esteem and left her lacking the confidence to meet new people and make friends.

When she heard her sister’s good news, she realised she needed to make a change. She says: “Even though I knew people who had been successful with Slimming World, I was still petrified. This was my last chance and I had to do it. I lost a massive 12lbs in my first week – for the first time in my life I felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel.”

Maxine, who is a qualified nursery nurse but unable to work due to her disability, began following Slimming World’s Food Optimizing eating plan and swapped buttery toast, convenience store foods and takeouts for healthy homemade meals. She says: “It’s not a diet because there’s nothing you can’t have and there’s no need to go hungry. I’ve learned how to make the healthiest choices and can even eat out if I want to. My favourite dish has to be a Slimming World-style kebab, it’s really satisfying and tastes so naughty but it’s not at all. My husband John enjoys the same meals now too.”

Maxine Wren
Slimming World didn’t just save my life, it’s given me life.
Maxine Wren

In August 2016 Maxine married John wearing a size 6/8 wedding dress and says the day was a dream come true: “Words can’t describe how special it was to walk down the aisle more than half the woman I was. For the first time in my life, when I look in the mirror I like how I look – and I felt like a princess on my wedding day.”

While Maxine’s disability means she can’t do much exercise, she’s more active than before and loves being able to walk and play with the young nephew who provided her with the inspiration to start her journey. She says: “I hope I’m proof to people that there’s never any amount of weight you can’t lose. Everything’s changed. I don’t hide away anymore. I always say Slimming World didn’t just save my life, it’s given me life.”


Name: Maxine Wren

Age: 39

Height: 5ft 3in/1.6m

Joining date: 7/03/2013

Starting weight: 27st 12lbs/390lbs/177kg

Weight loss: 17st 7½lbs/245½lbs/111½kg

Weight now: 10st 4½lbs/144½lbs/65½kg


Before menu:

Breakfast: 2 bowls of sugary cereal with milk, with 4 slices of white toast with peanut butter and jelly

Lunch: Sandwiches, pies, chips and candy

Dinner: Takeout or convenience store food

Snacks: A whole packet of cookies, candy, chips.

After menu:

Breakfast: High-fiber cereal with fresh fruit and fat-free natural yogurt

Lunch: Baked potato and salad

Dinner: Homemade curry with rice and veggies

Snacks: Fresh fruit, an individual veggie platter, a small cake or low-calorie hot chocolate. – ends