Alexa Saddington says she was "unhappy inside" when she weighed 242 lbs.

By Gabrielle Olya
Updated January 31, 2017 01:28 PM
Credit: Courtesy Alexa Saddington

Alexa Saddington had struggled with her weight since she was a teenager, and tried numerous diets without any success.

“I started my first slimming club at 15,” the Yorkshire, England-based administrative assistant, 34, tells PEOPLE. “I was always trying new diets, but never stuck to any. When I wasn’t trying a new diet I would eat all the wrong things and my portion sizes were out of control.”

At the end of 2015, Saddington — who weighed 242 lbs. at her highest weight — became determined to make a healthy change, and stick to it this time.

“Something in my head just clicked,” she says. “I wasn’t happy inside — not that anyone could have guessed because I was always the life of the party, but inside I was so unhappy. The biggest turning point was seeing a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, and she had lost so much weight. I asked her how she did it and she told me she was doing the Cambridge diet.”

Paddington joined the Cambridge Weight Plan, which sets you up with a consultant who creates custom meal plans that include ready-made healthy meals.

“It has changed my life,” says Saddington, who cut out alcoholic cider, chips, candy and takeout and replaced them with healthy foods.

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In addition to eating healthier, Saddington joined a gym three months ago and has been working out four times a week. She has already lost 85 lbs., and hopes to lose 17 more lbs. to reach her goal weight.

“I feel like a different person,” she says. “I always wanted to go to Ibiza but I never had the self-confidence to go, and never felt like I would fit in. I just booked to go with my sister for a week, and I am aiming to be at goal by the time we go. I feel like that would be a great way to end my weight loss journey.”

In addition to boosting her confidence, Saddington said being able to inspire others through her social media has been a bonus to losing the weight.

“I love to hear that I have inspired someone to lose weight,” she says. “People tell me I’m their ‘thinspiration,’ and I still can’t believe they’re talking about me!”