Last week, a moves administrator from Harold Hill Romford, embarked on a new chapter in her life.
41-year-old Sandra Ryder walked into Birbeck University as a student to study a business degree for the next four years.
“My main motivation for higher education as a mature student, was to develop myself professionally, to enhance my skills set and widen my career opportunities in the job market.
“I would never have had the motivation or confidence in my own abilities to seriously consider going to Uni if I hadn’t lost weight.
“Those around me keep telling me how much more confident and sharper I am in the workplace, all because I feel different in myself.”
She added “You are never too late or too old to change your life or start something new.
You can teach an old dog new tricks and I’m going to live that moto for the rest of my life.”
Sandra who lives with her partner Heather, a 41-year-old dog walker, realised last year that being comfortable in a loving relationship had left her overweight and unfit.
Sandra and Heather have known each other since high school but been together as a couple for 15 years. They emigrated from Australia to England as a couple in 2012.
“Heather and I do everything together. We love to cook for friends and both enjoy eating.
“But when puberty hit I started to balloon, getting to my heaviest at 21 stone in my early 30’s.
“Heather is my best friend and greatest support, she is always there when I get home to encourage me, but checking in at my first Weight Watchers workshop was the time I really needed to do something about my weight.”
“WW has been changing, the new emphasis on how we mentally and emotionally deal with our health issues has been the key to successful weight loss for me.
“I have more of a positive mindset and look beyond the scales.”
Sandra has now shed an incredible 100lb so far and is aiming to lose more.