A blind woman has the ‘bow-wow’ factor thanks to her guide dog.
Elvira Haeussler, from Horsforth, Leeds, has lost five stone in 10 months - spurred on by her furry friend Lenny, a Golden Labrador,
She had wanted to get fit to keep up with her companion on their daily walkies after she began to struggle to bend just to pick up his harness.
Now Elvira has a spring back in her step after dropping four dress sizes.
She said: “I hadn’t realised quite how much I’d put on until my size 18 trousers were getting too tight.”
Elvira, who moved to Britain from Germany to study English and is now working for the Open University, joined LighterLife Weight Loss management classes in January.
The slimmer undertook the ‘total programme’, where ordinary eating is replaced by four specially-formulated daily food packs, alongside weekly counselling sessions to assess the psychological issues behind over-eating and ensure a permanent lifestyle change.
In August food was gradually reintroduced and she managed to shrink to a size 10.
Elvira said: “The counselling was invaluable.
“I’ve taken everything on board that I’ve learned about changing my eating patterns.
“Because I have no three-dimensional vision I can’t see very well in the mirror that I’ve lost weight, but I can feel it.
“It’s affected me mentally, because it’s changed my thought patterns.
“I do think I’m more productive because I’ve got more energy and feel less stressed.
“I’ve a lot more confidence. It’s slightly more difficult because I can’t see myself but I’ve had comments that I sit straighter and walk straighter and I feel more good-looking and better in clothes.
“Guide dogs aren’t trained to run so I can’t go running on my own, but I’ve become a lot more active and walk Lenny a lot more, which he loves.
“I even did the Leeds Midnight Walk in May.”