An Irchester mum has vowed to help others struggling to lose weight after she successfully lost 5st 11lbs at a slimming club.
Sam Whiley had only joined the group to help a friend get over nerves but she was soon inspired to use the advice given to change her own life.
Now 81lbs lighter - the equivalent weight of 52 iPads or more than two dozen 1.5kg bags of flour - the mum-of-two is ready to start a group in nearby Wollaston.
Sam said: “I had been overweight for most of my life and was bullied as a child because of it, however it just made me resilient, and I became confident and content with my size.
"Becoming a wife and mummy meant I was always last on the list and I continued to gain weight. That all changed one day when my dear friend asked if I would join the local Slimming World group with her as she was nervous.”
Sam sat in on the sessions, listening to all the advice and realised she would be able to do it easily with her young family without sacrificing family favourites such as steak and chips, cheeseburger bake and a quick stir fry.
She was delighted in her first week to have lost 5lbs and achieved her one stone award by week three, feeling fantastic and positive for her journey.
Switching to online classes during the pandemic, Sam continued getting group support while weighing herself at home.
She said: "While it wasn’t easy as I was still so new to Slimming World, I was determined to continue. I was then furloughed from my job which could have gone two ways but I made the decision to use it is a real opportunity to focus on me for the first time ever.
"Cooking became a hobby and I really fell in love with the right foods. I also embarked on getting fitter too which was so good for not just helping me tone but a great motivation and mood booster.
"I built up slowly but can now run rings around my children when playing family football in the garden."
When restrictions eased and Slimming World were able to take their groups back into the communities Sam followed.
Jo Lisk, district manager for Slimming World, said: "She is so gorgeous and a great addition to the team. I'm really proud of her."
"There are 74 Slimming World groups in Northamptonshire. If you can't get to one group you can always pop in to another. It really works well if you are on shifts."
Sam's new Wollaston group will take place at Wollaston Working Men’s Club in London Road from Thursday, January 27 with two sessions.
She said: "Group is so important. It's full of inspiration and I have met lovely people I now call friends, we are all rooting for each other and the help and support is just brilliant.
"I loved it so much I decided I wanted to help others, and have started my training to become a consultant. I can't wait.”
To find your nearest Slimming World group click here.