For many people, the new year is time for a fresh start — and a healthy new lifestyle.

January is a busy month for gyms, fitness classes and slimming clubs across Huddersfield as dozens of people embark on weight loss journeys or try to get fit.

So, to help inspire Examiner readers determined to shift a few pounds this year, we want to hear from people who have successfully transformed their diets and their figures.

Share your weight loss stories and top tips with us via the form below — and we'd love to see your before and after pictures too!

 

Manpreet Singh, 23, of Huddersfield, lost 13 stone

His story: "I've always been a very big person for pretty much all of my life; and despite feeling generally healthy, I knew it most likely was having unseen effects on my health. However, the stigma associated with "being fat" not only takes its toll on your mental health, but also affects you more so physically.

"One day I just decided I was fed up with how I was, and took the step to bettering myself, for myself. Mainly for my mental self. I believe it's not about how you look in the mirror, or to others, but how you feel about yourself."

Manpreet's top tip: "Don't get too caught up in it. Treat yourself sometimes. Don't sacrifice your life for your weight loss. Make sure you still enjoy yourself. Your weight does not determine you as a person, and in the end, whether you "are fat" or "are skinny" does not matter - your fat does not define you."

Emma Taylor, 38, of Newsome, lost body fat

Her story: " 12 months ago, I was a cardio bunny, I would go to the gym and run for hours every day and get nowhere. I started lifting weights and looking into a simple clean eating lifestyle, not a diet. Something I could change that would work in the long term, half way through my journey I realised I was pretty strong and lifting more weight than some off the men, so I did some research and came across the world of strong women competition, so I entered myself.

"My goal for this year is to become even stronger, ready for competition. Three months ago I started my personal training and exercise referral so I can help others lose weight, become healthy and work along side patients with diabetes and obesity and try to make a difference to their lives. As health and fitness has made a huge difference to mine and my family's.

Emma's top tip: "Making healthy choices. teaching your children to cook fresh and not eat processed foods."

Anne Greenwood, 59, of Lepton, has lost 1st 12lbs so far

Her story: "Because of family history, I was on course to develop type two diabetes, then my brother-in-law was diagnosed with a aggressive brain tumour, it was terminal, I thought I could take charge of my health, where as Mike could not be in charge of his health. I was referred to a weight management programme and I decided to go to Weight Watchers.

"Katie our leader is fantastic and inspiring, also the other members are supportive, but most of all it is about eating proper food and understanding what fuel goes into your body, you have to burn it off. So far I have lost 26lb and I am determined to keep losing then maintain, I am not going back!

Anne's top tip: "Weightwatchers, eating filling and healthy, proper food."

Lindsey Makin, 35, of Shepley, has lost 2.5st and is still going

Her story:  "I have lost 2.5 stone in just over a year and I'm still going. I was at a family wedding and saw a photo and thought, " Whoa, when did that happen?"  I knew I had to do something, I'd never been so big."

Lindsey's top tip: "I joined Weight Watchers at The Hub, Kirkburton, and could not believe how friendly and supportive everyone was. I've made some great friends along the way and now help out at the meetings, I find the plan really works for me because it's a lifestyle change not a diet."

Adrian Bellwood, 42, of Salendine Nook, lost 8 stone

His story: "I've always been big/overweight, although it never got in the way of my life I had a goal to lose weight when I got to 40. Initially I started by becoming a 'Dryathlete' in January 2013, to raise money for Cancer Research. But instead of starting drinking again in February I decided to stay off the booze for most of the year, and this continued in to 2014 and pretty much up to date (bar a few special occasions).

"I think it was around July 2013 that I decided I needed to lose weight, worrying that my bones and joints wouldn't be able to cope for many more years at the weight I was at. I have lost a total of 112 lbs or eight stone in that time. The key to my success is having a caring wife and kids, who have stuck by me all the time. My wife prepares my meals (chicken and bacon being a massive part of my diet) and the kids are great at coming on walks with me (even if I do have to take them to the local cafe mid route). Every week without fail I have a cheat day, usually Saturday. I don't think I would have been able to lose all of this weight without looking forward to my cheat day."

Adrian's top tip: "Plenty of exercise, I walk quite a few miles every week, I also use a fitness tracker/band and monitor my activity via my phone. It a great way to either reward yourself or get a bit more exercise if you've been lagging a bit. My main tip is to treat yourself once a week."

Karen Prince, 46, of Newsome, has lost more than a stone so far

Her story: "In 2009 I suffered a life threatening blood clot in my left leg which led to me being less mobile and now registered disabled. As a result of the blood clot I gave up smoking which led to weight gain. In 2014 I went to my GP for an MOT. I was referred to a weight management scheme run by Kirklees which meant had regular visits to the dietitian, who I still see. I started at 14st 2lb and now I'm 12st 8. Not only do I see the dietitian but I have signed up to hopefully do some seated and water exercises through the local PALS scheme. I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and recently polomyalgia rheumatica so there are days where I get really tired a lot quicker."

Karen's top tips: "Herbal slimming supplements, drinking lots of water, a smaller dinner plate. I have gotten into the habit of reading the saturated fat and cabohydrate sugars in everything I buy. I also swapped meat for Quorn and I eat a lot of fish both oily and oven cooked."

Hannah Davies, 19, of Dewsbury, has lost 2st 2lbs

Her story: "I was a teenager that looked like I was going to give birth but it was just food. I'd been big a lot of my childhood and had finally had enough so joined Weight Watchers at Kirkheaton Primary and haven't looked back. I feel so much healthier and fitter and can go out not feeling like people are looking at me."

Hannah's top tip: "Katie, my Weight Watchers leader, has been there to give me advice and support when I felt like giving in. Also, planing and shopping to the plan has helped and I love doing exercise and work with a personal trainer once a week."

Hazel Dyson, 28, of Lepton, lost 12st 2lbs

Her story: "I've gone from 22st 7 stone and a size 26 to 10st 5 and a size 8 in dresses, 12 in jeans. I started Slimming World because my Dr told me I was over weight and needed to do something about it as it would help me with my PCOS and if it didn't I may need a hip replacement by the time I was 30. Losing weight gave me a massive amount of confidence and I have been able to start university, work and the gym. All things that I couldn't bring myself to do before. I'm a lot fitter now and I enjoy walking, the gym and buying new clothes."

Hazel's top tip: "The Slimming World plan obviously helped me loads but it is important to exercise as well.  Cutting down on things like bread, wine and dairy helps loads also. Instagram has also helped massively for support and meal ideas!"

Sally Gargin, of Lowerhouses, has dropped four dress sizes

Her story: "At my biggest I was a size 22 and didn't weigh myself as I was too horrified, I tried every diet and went to the gym but it refused to budge until I found a product which I'm not only still using but I'm now the Huddersfield rep for. I'm now a size 14-16 and my weight is going down, I couldn't be happier and because of this I actually plucked up the courage to go and look for my perfect wedding dress. I would never have done it before because I was too embarrassed."

Sally's top tip: "My top tip would be to eat the right food at the right time of day, no carbs after 5-6pm and walk instead of using public transport or driving."

Sam Hill, 28, of Elland, has lost 6st 2lbs so far

Her story: "After putting it off for  seven years & being unfortunate enough to encounter 2 serious injuries on my knee & ankle in the past couple of years, I knew enough was enough and had to do something about it! I decided to lose the weight, but not just to look & feel fitter but to hopefully strengthen my joints to avoid any further possible injuries. I started my journey Oct 1st 2013 and haven't looked back since. I didn't join Weight Watchers, Slimming World nor any other club in fact I did all this on my own from my own will power, determination and strength. Firstly I just replaced bad snacks with fruit, cereal bars, yoghurts, nuts and crackers then cut down my portion sizes and started to eat salad, fruit and veg. For many years I've fallen into a bad pattern of eating at unsociable hours due to shift work so now preparation with food is key and I now eat at normal times of the day and try not to eat anything after 8pm at night (this discipline has helped a lot) With my ever changing shift patterns from week to week I knew gym would be difficult and irregular, so therefore all my help has come in the form of various workout DVDS including one of my inspirational celebrities to lose a ton of weight herself - Big Brother's Josie Gibson (I use her 30 sec slim interval training DVD). I enjoy Zumba too. It's now 15mths since I began my weightl oss journey and have lost just over 6st just from healthier eating, smaller plates of food and workout dvds at home.. I feel and look better than ever, fitting into dress sizes four times smaller than before also helps with confidence too of course!

Sam's top tip: "Reduce your portion sizes, replace bad snacks with good snacks (if you can go without snacking at all, even better). Try not eat after 8pm at night. Look out for foods that are high in salt, fat or sugar (this includes 'good for you' or 'healthy option' products). Keep active, whether it's DVDs, the gym or even just walking to and from places instead of using transport. And of course, allow yourself treats from time to time - it's not going to kill you, as if you deprive yourself then you're just more likely to binge after so long!

Kate Foley, 28, of Huddersfield, has lost two and a half stone so far

Her story: "I joined Slimming World in January 2014 after looking at pictures of myself and not liking what I saw, a year later and I have lost two and a half stone so far and plan on loosing a few more stone this year. Everyone has commented on how well I have done and I feel so much better for doing so."

Kate's top tip: "Three balanced meals and plenty of water."

Sharron McDonnell, 52, of Huddersfield, has lost 4st 3lbs

Her story: "I did this for myself. My ankles were swelling every night, I was very lethargic, no energy or confidence. I lost three and half stone in 12 months with Slimming World. Then lost even more. I visited my niece in Ireland and found she had just joined — she is now a consultant over there. I told everyone in her class that I've been at target for  seven years. I hope to lose some more but if not I will be happy."

Sharron's top tip: "Homemade soup. With Slimming World you can have this syn free soup  in between meals, it makes sure you don't go hungry. Also, plenty of fluids."

Whether you joined a swimming club, your local gym or went it alone, we want to hear from you.

We'll share your successes on our website and you could help to inspire others beginning their weight loss journeys.

Alternatively, if you're hoping to lose weight this year, click here for NHS advice and work out your BMI with their official calculator.

Good luck!