An overweight gran has shed an astonishing 10 stone at the age of 65 to fulfill her lifetime dream of posing naked – as a CALENDAR GIRL.
Linda Thomson, 66, spent most of her life on fad diets trying to tackle her bulging 20 stone body which left her struggling to fit most high street clothing.
But embarrassed at not being able to play with her grandchildren and terrified her health was deteriorating the retired supermarket worker underwent a gastric sleeve operation.
And spurred on by the chance to play her dream role in an amateur dramatic production of Calendar Girls she lost 10 stone in an impressive 11 months.
Linda dropped to a size 14 and bagged a starring role as Celia – known for needing “considerably bigger buns” in the play.
She appeared completely naked in front of the packed Charles Cryer Studio Theatre in Sutton, South London in October 2012.
Thanks to her new-found confidence Linda has now agreed to show off her new body as Miss September in a nude calendar for charity.
The grandmother-of-eight from Sutton, London said: “If I had not lost the weight I would never have taken a staring role in Calendar Girls.
“I would have gone for a part where I could hide in the background. But because I am so confident now I offered to get my kit off first.
“I am so proud of the way I look and am much more confident in myself.
“I was the first to strip off in the show and I encourage the other ladies.
“Now I have the confidence, I really want to try and do some professional acting. I would love to be in a film.”
Linda, a former supermarket worker who is separated, added: “I was so big I could hardly walk. My BMI was so high I was given surgery on the NHS.
“I spent my life going on fad diets. I would lose three stone, but then put four back on. I was the sort of person who if there were seconds going I would have them.
“I feel like losing weight has taken 10 years off my life. I feel amazing.
“I knew I had to lose weight when I got thinking about people who have leukaemia. They have no choice – but I had a choice to save my life.”
Shy Linda had worked on her self-confidence for years as a member of her local amateur dramatics company the Tudor Player’s.
She decided to undergo gastric sleeve surgery in November 2011 because she was terrified of living out her whole life underweight
But it was only when she heard the group were planning a production of Calendar Girls she really started to shed the pounds.
She has now agreed to strip again in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
The original Calendar Girls comedy in 2003 told the true story of a Women’s Institute who raised money by posing naked for their annual calendar.