‘Slimming World saved my life as I found a breast lump after losing weight’

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Jo Atkins spotted the telltale signs of breast cancer after starting Slimming World classes. She is now six stone lighter and free of the disease. She thinks her diet saved her life

Jo Atkins was able to shed a total of six stone using Slimming World

A mum’s life was saved when she shed four stones at a diet group and found a breast lump.

Slimming World classes meant fast food addict Jo Atkins, 50, spotted the telltale sign early.

Doctors found she had stage two cancer and put her on chemotherapy.

Four years on, she is free of the disease and has shed a total of six stone after ditching fatty food.

Beaming Jo said: “Slimming World saved my life. I am convinced if I hadn’t lost the weight and that fat tissue hadn’t gone, there’s no way I would have felt that lump.”

Jo, a credit controller from Hanworth, West London, enrolled at a local class after hitting 14st 11lbs.






She spotted the lump after starting the classes

Her general diet wasn’t that good. And blowouts on “Fat Fridays” at work – when staff scoffed takeaways – did the real damage.

Her favorites included a KFC’s Fillet Tower Meal – a mighty 39 grams of fat and 870 calories.

Alternatively, she had a McDonald’s Big Mac, fries and soft drink…with an extra cheeseburger as a side.

Jo said: “I’d tried all sorts of diets over the years and yo-yoed with my weight. I’d eat a lot of convenience food, takeaways, I’d skip meals then binge in the evenings.”

She decided a diet overhaul was needed after her husband Steve, 52, had a severe stroke in 2016 which left him paralysed on the right side.

Jo added: “That really was a wake-up call, because I knew he now relied on me for everything.






She was unhappy with her weight

“I knew I had to do something. I struggled to just bend over and do my laces up.”

At size 18-20, Jo joined Slimming World in January 2017 and found the lump in November the same year.

She recalled: “I was laying in bed watching telly one evening and noticed it as I turned over.

“At first, I put it off as nothing and it took me a week or so to actually make that appointment.”

Thankfully, Jo had caught the small lump early and put her Slimming World membership on hold as she underwent surgery, six rounds of chemo followed by 20 sessions of radiotherapy.







Jo Atkins has lost six stone
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Image:

David Dyson)

She returned to her diet group in January 2019 and slimmed to a size 8-10, losing 6st 4Ibs in all. Jo is now 8st 7lbs and loves life with Steve and their kids Aaron, 33, and Leah, 31.

And Jo also now runs his own Slimming World group. She added: “Because of what it’s done for me, I really want to help other people.”

Louisa Hetherington, who manages Jo’s team in Hanworth, said: “I couldn’t be more proud of Jo.

“She’s a fantastic ambassador for Slimming World and what she’s achieved is incredible.”

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