Holiday changed mum's life after she divorces husband and sees 5st weight loss
A mum has opened up about a life-changing girls holiday which prompted her to divorce her husband and kickstart a new health regime which resulted in 5st (32kg) weight loss.
Stephanie Hanson, 41, from Liverpool, was in Greece with friends last year when she made the decision to end her marriage, after realising she hadn't missed her husband of 10 years.
Having told her partner that she was leaving him on her return from the break, Hanson went on to lose an incredible 5st in weight and met a new love, David Baldwin, 43.
Now, the mum-of-four says "she couldn't be happier".
Recalling the moment she had the realisation she says: "I remember thinking while I was away about how I really missed the kids, but I didn't miss my husband.
"I was in the worst shape of my life, and it dawned on me, at home, I was miserable – so I did something about it."
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Hanson enjoyed a 10-day trip to Kefalonia with two friends in May 2022, to celebrate her 40th birthday.
She says she had a wonderful time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, but as the holiday went on, she had a "moment of clarity".
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While relaxing by the pool, chatting with her friends, she came to the conclusion she no longer loved her husband.
"I was having the best time with the girls, and the thought of going back home to my husband was awful," she explains.
"I'd been miserable in my marriage for as long as I could remember.
"So when I flew back, I ended it there and then – and I knew I'd made the right decision when I saw his reaction."
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After getting the photos developed from her holiday, Hanson realised she was unhappy with another aspect of her life.
At the time she weighed 17st (108kg), but decided that the start of her new era as a single woman was the perfect time to change her appearance.
She began exercising at home using a hula hoop and drastically changed her diet, swapping chocolate, take away meals and cream and butter based dishes for lean meat, fish, salad and soup.
After a few months, she started incorporating running into her fitness regime, and slowly but surely, she started to shed the weight she'd been carrying for a decade.
Speaking about the decision to overhaul her lifestyle, Hanson, who works as a phlebotomist, says: "After leaving my husband, the next thing I needed to do was lose weight.
"The photos from the holiday made me see what horrible shape I was in, so I started working out at home and changed my diet.
"It was hard at first, but the motivation of being freshly single carried me through."
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And, after meeting her now boyfriend in July, and introducing him to her kids, Hanson says she "can't wait" for the future.
"In July, I met David on Facebook's dating website and we hit it off straight away," she says.
"I met him around halfway through my fitness journey, but he didn't care about that, he loved me as I was.
"I now weigh 12st (76kg), but I'm quite tall, so I think if I lose one more stone, that will be perfect.
"If I hadn't of gone on that holiday, I'd still be stuck in a marriage with a man I no longer loved, so to be where I am now, I couldn't be happier."
Additional reporting SWNS.