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Jul 30

Meet the woman who lost an incredible 7 stone so she could fulfil her dream to skydive with her pensioner mum –

As Lorraine slipped into position, with her legs dangling over the side of the plane, she felt a rush of adrenaline.

She may have been thousands of feet above the earth, but there were no nerves just pure excitement as she leapt out of the aircraft towards the ground.

Given her cool calmness, you might assume that adrenaline junkie Lorraine had done this before but nothing could be further from the truth. Though the mum-of-two had long dreamed of making the exhilarating leap, there had always been a problem at 20 stone, she was too heavy to jump safely.

Lorraine had been overweight since her sons Ben, 28, and Lee, 25, were born.

"I had tried and failed to lose weight so many times I just accepted I would be fat forever," she says.

Depressed about the oversized clothes she had to squeeze into, Lorraine suffered low self-esteem and rarely went out.

Her only interest was cooking, so she usually loaded her shopping trolley with double cream and cheese to whip up tasty treats for her family, finding comfort in cooking up giant portions of pie and buttery mash.

Her evenings were spent glued to the box, and, because she never went out, she felt she deserved a treat or two, thinking nothing of tucking into two or three Creme Eggs in front of the evenings television before going to bed.

Lorraine dreamed of a more adventurous life. Her son Ben was a skydiving instructor, and she loved hearing his tales of wind running over his face as the ground raced towards him.

But she got out of breath just walking up the stairs, and knew there was no way her body would cope with such an enormous challenge.

"Id always known I was too fat to even think about a jump, but that hadnt stopped me wishing I could," she says. "Watching Ben jump filled me with longing and I couldnt stop thinking about how amazing it must feel."

It was only in 2015, when she began to feel unwell, that she decided to see her GP for blood tests. When the doctor gently broke the news that she was on the verge of diabetes, Lorraine was horrified.

"He sat me down and explained that I was just one point away from being diabetic," she recalls. "It was no surprise, really, given my size and the fact diabetes ran in my family."

But the grim news was enough to spur Lorraine into attempting to tackle her weight again. So in May 2015, at a dress size 24, she decided to join Weight Watchers.

"Walking into the first class was terrifying, but my mum Margot came with me and was supportive," says Lorraine. "I wanted to do it for her too."

Lorraine stopped cooking high-fat meals and switched to low-fat stir-fries and salads instead, even changing her route to work so she didnt have to walk past her favourite shop Greggs the baker. Looking at the rows of warm, comforting pastries was just too tempting.

Within weeks the pounds had started to melt away and Lorraine had lost a stone. It was the boost she needed to keep going.

"If I thought about all the weight I had to lose it was overwhelming, so I set mini targets instead," she says.

Four months later, shed lost a whopping 4 stone. As the compliments from friends and family flooded in, Lorraine became more determined to keep going.

"I went shopping with Mum to celebrate and to be able to pick up clothes in normal shops was so exciting as I usually had to find the plus-size section," she says. "I picked up a pair of navy slim-fit jeans in a size 12 and when they slipped on easily I could have cried. I hadnt been a size 12 for 30 years. I was 50 and in better shape than I had been in my 30s that felt amazing."

Lorraine admits it wasnt all plain sailing: there were days when the cravings took over, and she just had to have pizza or fish and chips. But she always got back on track straight away, not allowing herself to sink into a negative spiral of overindulgence and guilty feelings.

Feeling and looking like a new woman, Lorraine decided it was time to do the thing shed dreamed of for so long the skydive.

"Mum had always said how much she would love to do it too, but with her age and my weight issues I had thought wed missed the boat," she says.

But when Lorraine told her mum she planned to make the jump, she was thrilled when Margot vowed to jump with her.

"I was so, so happy. It was something we had always wanted to do together but I guess we had both accepted it might never happen now here we were," she says.

The pair told Ben their idea and he agreed to jump with them three generations jumping from the plane at once. They decided to make the jump to mark Margots 75th birthday in September last year.

"As the day approached, rather than feeling nervous, we were both so excited we couldnt wait!" says Lorraine. "When the day came, it was amazing. Ive never had a buzz like it, it felt great to be sat there with my legs dangling over the edge. Jumping was the most incredible experience and to share it with my mother and son was fantastic. Weve never had so much fun."

Watching the tiny, patchwork fields below and the bright blue skies stretching endlessly around her, it was so beautiful and startling that Lorraine had to remind herself to breathe. As the parachute opened and she glided effortlessly to the ground, she knew she was hooked.

With their feet back on firm ground, the pair began planning their next adventure.Missing the adrenaline buzz they got from the skydive, the pair are planning a wing walk on a soaring plane and have also crossed off another ambition, to go up in a hot air balloon.

"I wasted too much of my life letting my weight and low confidence hold me back, but not any more," Lorraine says. "Since losing weight Ive gone from being a couch potato to adrenaline junkie and I couldnt be happier."

Now she has her sights set on swimming with sharks something Margot draws the line at. But theres no stopping Lorraine.

"I proved that after years of obesity, life really does start at 50 or 75, in Mums case!"

Breakfast: Frosties

Snack: Chocolate biscuits

Lunch: White bread sandwich and chocolate

Dinner: Homemade chicken pie with buttery mash or creamy carbonara followed by cheesecake or choc ice

Snack: Creme Eggs

Breakfast: Porridge made with yogurt

Lunch: Tuna wrap

Dinner: Homemade lasagne with courgette instead of pasta sheets or chips made in an air fryer with salad and chicken, followed by fruit for pudding

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Meet the woman who lost an incredible 7 stone so she could fulfil her dream to skydive with her pensioner mum -

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