AN Edinburgh woman has revealed she changed her name after losing so much weight that her work colleagues stopped recognising her.
Freyja Meredith, born Kirsteen Levy, said she felt “like a new person” after shedding over seven stone and celebrated the landmark by rebranding herself.
The 47-year-old, from Leith, admitted workmates “blanked” her when she dropped from just under 20 stone to 12 and a half stone since beginning her journey last year.
And she decided to embrace the new version of herself by achieving a lifelong dream of changing her name.
Freyja said: “When I had lost about six stone, so many people in the office were stopping me and saying how great I looked.
“People who hadn’t seen me for a while were blanking me as they genuinely didn’t recognise me and then when they found out, they would tell me that I looked like a different person.”
She added: “I had been thinking about changing my name for some time and I thought ‘I feel like a new person now, so why not do it?’”
Freyja said she was in “constant pain” before joining WW (Weight Watchers re-imagined), but admitted she continuously “sabotaged” her diet plans after picking up injuries at the gym.
She said: “I had almost constant cramp, particularly in my back so my work had to order in a proper DSE chair.”
“I remember walking across the atrium in the office one day and the pain of putting one foot in front of the other was so bad I just broke down in tears.”
She added: “The excess weight was also having an impact in my mental health too, I found myself having down days more often.”
“I was 46 and felt like I was 96 and at that point, I just thought enough was enough, something had to change.”
Freyja promised herself that she would stick to the plan after returning to a meeting on January 7, 2017, but admits there have been a few bumps in the road on her journey.
She said; “So far I have lost over seven stone and it’s been steady, but it has not been without some rough patches along the way.”
“My dad passed away in July 2017, so I missed my workshop for three weeks while I was home helping sort out things with the family, but I managed to get back on track and I have kept up with the plan ever since.”
Freyja highlighted the importance of staying mentally strong throughout her weight loss plan, adding that planning around meal times was crucial to shifting the weight.
She said: “The difference is the mindset. I knew I could not, would not in fact, let stress sabotage all I had achieved.
“You have to shrug off the disappointing weeks with an unexplained gain or staying the same, that keeps you positive enough to keep going.”
Freyja added: “Planning is important. On Monday I cook dinner for that night, lunch and dinner for Tuesday and lunch for Wednesday.
“If you know you have an event or night out, check out any online menus beforehand. You should never have to miss out.”