The secret reason why Jennifer Lopez looks so young

One look at J.Lo’s Instagram shows she’s looking pretty damn amazing these days — possibly the best she’s ever looked.

Her skin is flawless and wrinkle-free, and her body is ridiculously toned.

RELATED: 10 Celebrities Who Are Older Than You Think

In a new video Jennifer posted on Instagram, her sister tries to sell her on a night out partying, but the star doesn’t budge. “When I go out drinking with my friends, it’s the best day of my week,” her sister says in the video. “She’s trying to convince me why I should start drinking,” J.Lo says to the camera. Check it out:

Jennifer, who is 46 but looks more like she’s 26, has repeatedly said she doesn’t drink, telling InStyle, “I think that ruins your skin. Of course, during celebratory toasts, everybody’s like, ‘You can’t toast with water!’ So I’ll toast with alcohol and just take a sip.”

Which leads us to ask — is her no-alcohol stance the reason her skin looks so freakin’ good?

Alcohol can definitely impact the health of your skin, says Jill S. Waibel, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Miami.

RELATED: How Jennifer Lopez Dropped Those Last Few Stubborn Pounds

“The consumption of alcohol is one of the most common triggers for rosacea flare-ups, causing skin to be inflamed, red, and sensitive,” she says, explaining that it causes your blood vessels to dilate, resulting in flushed skin that can even be painful.

However, the long-term damage from alcohol comes from dehydration. “Hydration is key when it comes to maintaining healthy skin,” says Waibel. Skin that’s dehydrated, on the other hand, will cause any wrinkles or fine lines you may have to be more prominent and visible.

But all alcohol isn’t created equal. Waibel recommends skipping drinks that are heavy in sugar, like margaritas or other fruity drinks, since excess sugar intake can age your skin faster, bringing out fine lines and wrinkles in the process.

If you like drinking (and, really, who can blame you?) but also like having healthy-looking skin, Waibel suggests boozing in moderation and sipping water simultaneously to stay hydrated.

RELATED: 9 Beauty Habits That Give You Wrinkles

While she says ditching alcohol entirely, a la J.Lo, will give you the best results, she recommends having no more than two glasses of wine a week for healthy-looking skin.

Cheers to that!

 

Nutrition and Fitness Tips for Older Women

Today’s adults are living longer, healthier lives due in part to better fitness and nutrition programs. With the number of Americans 65+ expected to make up 20% of the U.S. population by 2050, exercise and diet are more important than ever. These tips can help older adults enhance overall wellness into their later years.

Fight Afternoon Fatigue

Fatigue is a common problem among older adults, especially after lunch. Having a glass of water and a high-antioxidant food like a prune can revitalize the body and stimulate the mind.

Exercise From The Neck Up

Keeping the brain active and fit is imperative to the health of older adults. Not only does it stave off memory-loss illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it also fosters executive function. Try word games and recallexercises. For example, find five red objects during a walk in the neighborhood and recall them when you’ve returned home.

Pole Walk

Walking poles allow for more balanced mobility than walkers or canes. Walking with poles engages the muscles of the upper torso, which increases upper-body strength and cardiovascular endurance. Consult a physician before making the switch to poles.

Dine In Duos

Those who share meals with others eat less than those who eat alone. This is an easy weight-loss tactic and one that fosters social interaction and engagement. While this is easy for those aging in a community, older adults at home can plan to have meals with family or friends at least several times a week.

Break Routine

Routine limits brain stimulation. Introduce new foods or new ways of eating the same food. For example, replace canned peaches with freshly sliced ones. Also, try taking a different route to the grocery store or shopping center.

Sole Support

As people age, the fat pads on the bottom of their feet compress, creating fatigue and pain. Consider wearing supportive shoes or inserting foot pads for better stability and comfort or socks that have extra padding and a wicking agent to keep feet dry and comfortable.

Fats: Out With The Bad, In With The Good

Older adults with an increased genetic risk for dementia can reduce the risk by increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. These fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, olive oil and green leafy vegetables, can reduce brain inflammation, a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Decrease Salt And Increase Your Salsa

High blood pressure, which can lead to strokes and a significant decline in cognitive function, often increases with age. As adults get older, the sense of taste also fades, leading to a desire for more salt on food to enhance flavor. Decreasing salt intake by putting down the shaker – and increasing exercise habits by shaking to a salsa beat – will enhance cardio and cognitive health.

Balancing Act

In addition to exercises that build strength and improve flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, make sure to add balance activities to the daily routine. Good balance requires maintaining a center of gravity over the base of support. Tai chi, yoga, walking on challenging surfaces and water exercises all enhance overall balance.

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow

Older adults getting regular physical exercise are 60% less likely to get dementia. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and releases a protein that strengthens cells and neurons. Dance involves all of the above plus the cerebral activity present in learning and memory.
Peggy Buchanan is the coordinator of vitality/wellness programming for Front Porch and serves as the director of fitness, aquatics and physical therapy at Front Porch’s Vista del Monte retirement community in Santa Barbara, Calif. Peggy has more than 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry as an author, instructor/trainer and program developer. Her book Movin ‘n Groovin’ was awarded Amazon.com’s “Best Children’s Fitness Book” in 1998. She earned her master’s degree from California State University, Northridge in exercise physiology and has received numerous industry certifications and awards, including two honors from the world’s largest association for health and fitness professionals (IDEA).

As we age, one of the most important contributors to our overall health is our diet. We are literally what we eat, and the foods and combinations we choose are totally in our control.

Making simple food choices is especially true for women over 60, who have unique nutritional needs. We need to be sure that we nourish our aging bones, keep our hearts healthy and watch our blood pressure and weight.

Healthy living starts of course with the right attitude, and so a healthy, alert brain needs to be nourished as well. Add to that the basic principles of sourcing local and eating fresh, smart and economically, and we will create strong bodies and minds that will allow us to be able to do all the things we have waited all our lives to do.

Imagine being able to travel, play with your grandkids, dance, learn, volunteer and simply live a full and active life after 60!

To help you get started on your healthy eating journey, we have compiled a list of 15 things that you can do to improve your diet.

Get Enough Zinc. If you don’t have a problem with dairy products, here’s a tip for strong, healthy nails. Evelyn Tribole, RD, and author of Stealth Health: How to Sneak Nutrition Painlessly Into Your Diet, tells us to add a hard-boiled egg and a glass of milk to your daily diet; the zinc will make an amazing difference in your nails. Tip: If your nails have white spots on them, it’s an indication that you may be low on zinc. Source: bit.ly/XhOYCt

Hit the Trail (Mix). Here’s an extra snack idea for women who have a hard time getting enough calories. It not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but also has nutritional value. Make your own cereal trail mix by combining 1 cup of bite-sized whole grain cereal, ¼ cup (57 grams) dried cranberries, and ¼ cup (57 grams) chocolate chips, and 2 tbsp. (30 grams) sunflower seeds. One ½ cup (113 grams) serving is 130 calories, and it’s yummy!

Try Nut Butter Snacks. Sweet and salty cravings can be curbed with a tablespoon of natural nut butter spread over half an apple. You’ll get the benefits of both protein and fiber with only about 150 calories.

Embrace Fish Oil. According to WebMD, Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish are essential to brain development and function, especially as we move through our sixties and beyond. Apparently, these amazing healthy fats may lower the risk of stroke and dementia, slow down mental decline, and enhance memory. What are we waiting for? Fish fry! Source: on.webmd.com/Z7j11N

Go Nuts for Pistachios. Switch out the chips for some unsalted pistachios to potentially raise your HDL (good kind) cholesterol. A study conducted by the Department of Integrated Biosciences at Penn State has shown that eating just 1.5 – 3 ounces (57-85 grams) daily for four weeks can have a positive effect. Source: bit.ly/W2Sal3

Go for Organic Ketchup. The cancer-fighting phytochemical, lycopene is the buried treasure in your ketchup. One simple way to make sure you’re getting its greatest possible benefit is to buy organic, the darker in color the better. Organic ketchup has three times the lycopene as any of the commercial brands, says USDA researcher, Betty Ishida, PhD. Source: bit.ly/XYCwIT

Go Nuts for Vitamin E. In “Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate,” WebMD, maintains that the Vitamin E antioxidant has been associated with lessening cognitive decline as we age. Eating just an ounce (28 grams) a day of nuts and dark chocolate will give you the vitamin E you need without excess calories you don’t need. Source: on.webmd.com/Z7j11N

Eat Natural Food. Did you know that it’s sometimes better to eat a real cookie than those low-fat or low-calorie snack packs filled with preservatives and artificial flavorings and ingredients? When you say it like that, it just makes sense. Whole food takes your intestines longer to process, so you feel fuller longer.

Eat Mindfully. Korean Dahn yoga offers a simple daily diet strategy – “eat real food, not too much, and chew 20 times.” Also, a study in the International Journal of Obesity supports that chewing 20 times helps us eat less, because it stimulates satiety hormones. Source: bit.ly/WBZyWP

Keep the Best Parts. Are you throwing away the most nutritious parts of your foods? The greatest portion of nutrients is in the peels of many fruits and vegetables. By peeling that apple or potato before you eat it, you are missing out on the nutrient-richest part of the food. Source: bit.ly/ZjPINg

Love Dark Chocolate. Two squares of dark chocolate can satisfy your chocolate craving for just 115 calories. It gets even better! WebMD.com, notes that antioxidant rich dark chocolate contains caffeine, a natural stimulant that enhances focus and concentration, so treat yourself to a luxurious mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Source: on.webmd.com/Z7j11N

Consider Cinnamon. Sprinkling cinnamon onto your fresh ground coffee before brewing may reduce blood sugar, blood pressure, and even stress. Now that’s hot. Read more about the potential benefits of cinnamon. Source: bit.ly/VokUHA

Try Blueberries. Blueberries have long been touted the superfood, and they are thought to have a significant positive impact on the brain. They also may reduce the effects of age-related brain disease like dementia or Alzheimer’s. Source: on.webmd.com/Z7j11N

Eat Bananas. If you have high blood pressure, one of the best and easiest changes you can make to your diet is eating a banana a day. They’re potassium rich, which can naturally lower blood pressure. Source: bit.ly/Uu2eXV

Its time to build some muscle

You want to build muscle.

That’s why you’re here.

And you don’t have all day to read about all the little meaningless minutia. You just need results. You need to know precisely what to do.

So let’s cut out all the nonsense that doesn’t matter and get right to the heart of what really does.

Follow these top 10 mass building tips and you will definitely be on the road to getting bigger and stronger, faster than ever before.

The good news is you don’t need a fancy gym membership or hundreds of dollars of supplements or equipment. This is simple stuff, my friends…

1) Do 3 Hard Strength Training Workouts Per Week

Some guys can train more often than this but for most average people with busy, stressful lives three sessions does the job quite nicely. This is especially true if you are doing other physical activities such as hill sprints, jumping rope, and playing sports on a regular basis.

When your goal is to build muscle, recovery time is just as important as training time. You grow when you are recovering; not when you are training.

2) Limit Your Workouts to 45 Minutes

The hormonal response to training is a very important consideration. To keep your anabolic (muscle building) hormones high and catabolic (muscle destroying) hormones low you want to keep your workouts right around the 45 minute mark.

If you can’t get the job done in that time frame you are half assing it. On top of that, results are greatest when energy and mental focus are at their highest. That is during the first 30  minutes of your workout.

Get in, warm up, hit it hard, and get out.

3) Use Big, Compound Exercises

Dumbbell presses and rows, deadlift variations, heavy sled pushes and loaded carries should always be the bread and butter of your training programs. Don’t waste too much training time with small, isolation exercises. Unless you’re doing them to prevent or rehab injuries. Then I highly recommend them. But when it comes to building mass you want big, bang-for-your-buck exercises.

And this process doesn’t always require a barbell. You can get jacked in your own basement or garage. Show me a guy who can 1 arm row or 1 arm dumbbell press half his bodyweight for reps and I’ll show you a big, strong guy.

4) Adhere to the Overload Principle

Over the course of time you have to continually force the body to adapt.

The same workouts, done repeatedly, will stop yielding results rather quickly.

You need to challenge yourself to do more. Overload comes in many forms. You can:

  • Add more resistance
  • Do more reps with the same resistance
  • Do more work in the same amount of time
  • Do the same amount of work in less time
  • Do more work in less time
  • Do higher quality sets
  • Be more explosive on your sets
  • Learn to feel the muscle through every inch of the range of motion.

Keep in mind however, that you can’t make progress at every single training session, forever. That would be impossible and attempting to do so would lead to injuries.

You will have a bad day from time to time so autoregulate based on how you are feeling each day and strive for long term progress.

5) Train at About 85% of Max Intensity

In strength science intensity technically means a percentage of your one rep max. So if you could press 100 pounds, then 85 pounds would equal 85% intensity.

Forget all that. I’m talking about the Rocky Balboa definition of intensity.

Let’s say that 100% intensity is a Rocky IV training montage where you are training like your life is on the line and someone is holding a gun to your head on every rep.

Don’t do that. That’s fine from time to time and on a few sets here and there. But if you train like that every day you’re not going to get very far. You’ll be wiped out, you’ll feel awful and you’ll probably get injured.

Dial it down just a bit so that you can continue to train, plateau and injury free, long into the future.

Train hard, but train smart.

6) Never Underestimate the Power of Bodyweight Training

While dumbbell rows, presses, cleans and carries are great you should also include bodyweight exercises in every one of your training programs. They recruit a lot of muscle and help you learn the concept of maximal tension.

Instead of machine rows do ring rows.

Instead of lying triceps extensions with an EZ bar do extensions on rings.

Instead of machine crunches do ab fall outs on rings or an ab wheel.

Instead of leg curls do glute ham raises.

Instead of pushdowns do dips.

7) Make Some Changes to Your Program Every Few Weeks

Your body will eventually adapt to the same stimulus and you need to change things up once in a while if you want to avoid overuse injuries. This doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul but a few minor changes of exercises, grip width or rep ranges here and there will be enough.

Beginners should stick with the same program longer while advanced guys will eventually need to start making some changes every 1-3 weeks. 

Remember that you can develop horrible overuse injuries just from swinging a golf club or tennis racket. The weights you lift and your own body weigh a lot more than those two implements. So switch it up often to stay injury free.

That’s what we do with all Renegade Training programs.

8) Eat Like a Man

Some guys who complain about not being able to gain size just aren’t getting the job done in the kitchen. I’ve been out to dinner with so called “hardgainers” who pick at their food like birds.

You not only have to load plates in the gym but at the dinner table.

If you’re painfully skinny then force feed yourself if you have to.

Carbs are where it’s at when it comes to gaining quality size. It’s very rare to see someone not eat enough protein. Much of the protein hype is bullshit. You really don’t need that much and it’s quite easy to get.

But it’s harder to get down 300-500 grams of clean carbs per day. That’s what it takes, though. So load up on the rice and potatoes.

9) Sleep 8 Hours Per Night & Take Naps If Possible

Sleep is when you recover and grow. Deep sleep boosts your growth hormone andtestosterone levels and also helps manage your cortisol levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. Without sufficient sleep your results will suffer dramatically.

There is nothing more important for building muscle than sleep.

Most of you will ignore that and search for a better supplement.

That is why I repeat…

There is absolutely NOTHING (not supplements or diets or training programs) more important for building muscle than getting enough deep, high quality sleep per night.

10) Maximize Your Recovery Ability

The workout stimulates the muscles and supplies the signal for growth. Then you have to feed the body and let it recover. This is when the growth process takes place. If you have shitty recovery you’ll never grow. So do all you can to maximize your recovery ability.

Take contrast showers or baths after training, stretch, ice, use foam rollers, meditate , eliminate stress, go for a walk or swim on off days, get massages and anything else you can think of to help you recover faster between workouts.

Fitness plan for beginners

In the realm of fitness, three-month programs dominate the landscape. You’ve even seen plenty of them in this magazine over the years. Are they effective? Absolutely. But we’re going to let you in on an interesting secret: It doesn’t necessary take eight or 12 weeks to get your feet wet in the gym. Not that you’ll be a seasoned vet after four weeks, but if you can just get that first month under your belt, you’ll get yourself over the proverbial hump where so many fail and give up, and set the stage for a lifetime of gains.

MORE BEGINNER’S TIPS
Let’s just call this the accelerated beginner’s guide to bodybuilding. In this plan, your first month of training will be demanding, but not so demanding as to cause injury (or worse yet, burnout), and progressive in the sense that each week you’ll graduate to different exercises, higher volume, more intensity or all of the above. After four weeks you’ll not only be ready for the next challenge but you’ll have built a significant amount of quality muscle. In other words, one month from now you’ll look significantly better with your shirt off than you look now. (How’s that for results?)

This program isn’t just for the true beginner who has never touched a weight before; it’s also suitable for anyone who has taken an extended leave of absence from training. How long has it been since you went to the gym regularly? Six months? A year? Five years? No worries: The following routines will get you back on track in — you guessed it — just four short weeks. Let’s get to work.

WEEK 1: WHOLE IN ONE
You’ll begin the program with a full-body training split, meaning you’ll train all major bodyparts in each workout (as opposed to “splitting up” your training). Train three days this first week, performing just one exercise per bodypart in each session. It’s important that you have a day of rest between each workout to allow your body to recover; this makes training Monday, Wednesday and Friday — with Saturday and Sunday being rest days — a good approach.

The exercises listed in Week 1 are a collection of basic moves that, while also used by advanced lifters, we feel are suitable for the beginner as well. Notice we’re not starting you off with only machine exercises; a handful of free-weight movements are present right off the bat. Reason being, these are the exercises you need to master for long-term gains in muscular size and strength, so you may as well start learning them now. Carefully read all exercise descriptions, starting on page, before attempting them yourself.

In Week 1 you’ll perform three sets of every exercise per workout, which over the course of the week adds up to nine sets total for each bodypart, a good starting volume for your purposes. With the exception of crunches for abs, you’ll do 8–12 reps per set. This rep scheme is widely considered ideal for achieving gains in muscle size (the scientific term is hypertrophy) and is commonly employed by amateur and pro bodybuilders alike.

Notice in the workouts below that your first set calls for eight reps, your second set 10 reps and your third set 12. This is referred to in bodybuilding circles as a “reverse pyramid” (a standard pyramid goes from higher to lower reps), where you decrease the weight each set to complete the higher rep count. For example, if on your first set of lat pulldowns you used 140 pounds for eight reps, try using 120 or 130 pounds on set two and 100–120 pounds on set three.

WEEK 2: SPLIT DECISION
You’re only a week into the program, yet you’ll begin to train different bodyparts on different days with a two-day training split (meaning the entire body is trained over the course of two days, rather than one as in the first week). You’ll train a total of four days this week; the split includes two upper-body days (Monday and Thursday) and two lower-body days (Tuesday and Friday), and each bodypart is trained twice. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday will be your recovery days.

Several exercises from Week 1 are carried over to Week 2, but one move is added to each bodypart routine — with the exception of abs — so you can train all muscle groups more completely from multiple angles. Chest, for example, includes two exercises: One is a compound movement (dumbbell bench press) that involves multiple joints (both the shoulder and elbow) to work the largest amount of muscle possible, and the other is an isolation exercise (dumbbell flye) that involves only one joint (shoulder) and targets the pecs to a greater extent. (When doing presses for chest, the deltoids and triceps are involved to a degree, meaning presses don’t isolate the pecs as much as flyes do.)

You’ll again employ a reverse pyramid scheme of reps, though in Week 2 you’ll go slightly higher in reps (15) on your third set of each exercise. Fifteen reps may be just outside the ideal muscle-building range, but these sets will help you increase muscular endurance to provide a solid foundation on which to build size and strength going forward.

WEEK 3: THREE ON THREE
In the third week of the program we step it up to a three-day training split: Train all “pushing” bodyparts (chest, shoulders, triceps) on Day 1; hit the “pulling” bodyparts (back, biceps) and abs on Day 2; and work your lower body (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves) on Day 3. As in Week 2, you train each bodypart twice a week, so you’ll hit the gym six days this week.

One new exercise is added to each bodypart routine to provide even more angles from which to train your target muscles to promote complete development. You’ll hit each muscle group with two exercises of 3­–4 sets each: four sets for large bodyparts (chest, back, shoulders, quads, hamstrings) and three sets for smaller bodyparts (biceps, triceps, abs, calves). The result is 16 total sets for the week for large bodyparts and 12 sets total for smaller ones — again, working in the 8–15-rep range — which is a substantial increase in volume from Week 1.

WEEK 4: TURNING UP THE VOLUME
In the fourth and final week of the program, you’ll train four days in a four-way split that hits each bodypart just once (except for calves and abs, which are each trained twice). Four-day splits are common among experienced lifters because they involve training fewer bodyparts (typically 2–3) per workout, which gives each muscle group ample attention and allows you to train with higher volume. As you’ll see, chest and triceps are paired up, as are back with biceps and quads with hamstrings, each a very common pairing among novice and advanced bodybuilders. Shoulders are trained more or less on their own, and you’ll alternate hitting calves and abs — which respond well to being trained multiple times per week — every other workout. No new exercises are introduced in Week 4 so that you can focus on intensity in your workouts instead of learning new movements.

Rep schemes remain in the hypertrophy range this week, but overall volume increases by adding more sets to individual exercises: up to five sets per move for larger bodyparts, and even 10 sets of calf raises on Thursday. This bump in volume will ensure that your muscles are overloaded sufficiently to continue the growth they’ve already begun experiencing in the first three weeks. Completion of this four-week program now entitles you to go to the next stage.

Mum made fun of by cruel work bullies decides to change her life

Jaimee Aliker, who used to weigh 23 stone, put years of bullying behind her…

Jaimee AlikerWoman whose colleagues encouraged customers to fat-shame her drops six dress sizes in a year

A mum bullied by colleagues who encouraged customers to JOIN IN with their cruel jibes has dropped six dress sizes in a year.

At her heaviest, Jaimee Aliker, 28, weighed 23 stone.

Her size 26 frame made her the target of merciless taunts at the bookmakers where she worked.

Jaimee Aliker
Tubby: Jaimee before her weight loss

But now, the mum-of-two from Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire has shed an incredible six stone, slimming to a svelte size ten.

Jaimee said: “My colleagues at the bookmaker’s where I worked – who were grown men – would call me a fat whale in front of customers, even encouraging them to join in.

“I was mortified. I absolutely hated myself. I’ve been big since my teens. The weight just seemed to slowly creep up and up.

“Because of this, I was bullied throughout school. I thought when I started working, it would stop, but it just got worse.”

Jaimee Aliker
Slim: Jaimee endured horrific bulling and turned to Slimming Worlds to help her weight loss

Defiant in the face of her tormentors, Jaimee kept her head down, working hard and being promoted to manager at just 20.

But, on her first day in her new role, the shop was the target of a terrifying armed robbery and she was held at knifepoint by a mystery man in a Halloween mask.

The crook was never caught and Jaimee was so traumatised, she could not leave the house.

She said: “I’d have panic attacks and horrible flashbacks. I couldn’t face being around people so I completely retreated into myself.

“Then, I fell pregnant. My weight shot up during the pregnancy and by the time my daughter was born I was a size 26.

“I decided I had to change, because I didn’t want my daughter to grow up with an unhealthy attitude to food, or to get bullied like I did.”

Jaimee Aliker
Target: Jaimee before her weight loss when colleagues at the bookies where she worked bullied her

Jaimee sought counselling, to help her overcome the trauma of the armed robbery and, slowly, started going out in public again.

She even tried an extreme diet she read about in a magazine. But it was a grave mistake.

Jaimee said: “It was one of those faddy diets. Looking back, I should never have tried it, but I was desperate.

“I virtually starved myself. I was only eating something stupid like 500 calories a day. The weight did fall off, but I began feeling really ill.

“At first, doctors told me it was heartburn and prescribed paracetamol, which made things worse.”

But Jaimee was, in fact, suffering from liver failure.

Her gall bladder had failed, and gall stones were blocking her liver, which medics looked the same as that of an alcoholic – even though she was teetotal.

Whilst recovering from surgery to remove her gall stones, Jaimee’s weight crept back up by two stone and, before long, she had reached a size 22.

“I was terrified of getting on the scales, because I could see all that weight creeping back on again,” she remembered.

“I was at rock bottom. I felt absolutely disgusted with myself. I went to my doctor and broke down, begging for help. I told him I knew I could lose weight, that I’d done it before.

“But he just said: ‘You’ve always been big. What do you want me to do about it?’

“I was heartbroken. More than anything in the world, I just wanted to stop being big. If I could have cut the fat off myself, I would have.”

Jaimee Aliker
Fit: Jaimee is happy after her weight loss

Feeling like she had hit the buffers, Miss Aliker, who previously avoided shopping with other people, in case they discovered her dress size, finally confessed all to best friend Gemma Ferrari.

Gemma was a member of a Whittlesey Slimming World group and encouraged Jaimee to come along.

Jaimee said: “I was sick with nerves before I went, but everyone was so welcoming. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel judged.

“Before, I’d avoid eating in public, as I didn’t want people to look at me and think, ‘she could do with missing a meal,’ but at Slimming World, people looked past my size and saw me for who I was.

“Ever since that first meeting, I haven’t looked back.”

She began to attend meetings every Tuesday morning and shed six stone in just a year.

Supported by partner Daniel Harrison, 33, she overhauled her cooking habits, following Slimming World’s advice on how to make healthy, nutritious meals from scratch.

Former beautician Jaimee is now working as a full time Slimming World consultant and is sharing her story in the hope that it will inspire others battling with their weight.

Jaimee Aliker
Delighted: Jaimee after her weight loss with boyfriend Daniel

Jaimee said: “I know how it feels to be big, to hate yourself and to feel like you can’t ever change, but I want to show people that you can.

“You know how you’re supposed to make a wish on your birthday? Growing up, I would ask for the same thing every year – to lose weight.

“It’s been a long road but finally, my wish has come true.”