A Horninglow mum who turned to fast food when her fast-paced job took over her life has told how ditching the burgers saw her take back her confidence – and now she wants to help others do the same.
Georgina Hull, 31, said her job as an assistant manager at a cattery meant she was getting home late, eating convenience food and didn't realise just how much the weight was creeping up on her.
On a holiday to the Isle of Wight last year, Georgina's daughter Brooke, 10, took an unflattering photograph of her mum which sparked a hefty weight loss of four stone three pounds.
Georgina, of Harper Avenue, said: "I would be getting home at 6pm exhausted and not wanting to cook a meal from scratch so the food I was eating was just convenience food.
"I was having takeaways every week, Domino's pizzas, Indian and two lots of McDonald's during the week. Then I would snack on crisps, chocolate and cake. I was just eating all of the things that I shouldn't have been eating.
"I went on holiday with my dad and daughter to visit my grandparents in the Isle of Wight and my daughter took a picture of me sitting on a chair. I deleted it right away it was horrendous. I knew then that I needed to do something. I felt so uncomfortable within myself it was awful."
Just two days after she returned from her getaway, Georgina, who was a size 18 at her heaviest, went along to her first Slimming World class.
She said: "I had tried Slimming World before but I wasn't in the right frame of mind. My mum also has problems with her weight so I told her we were going out and took her along.
"I didn't realise until I started to lose the weight how unfit and unhappy I actually was. I was always quite a shy person and had quite low self-esteem but it surprised me how different my life was then to what it could have been.
"I always got headaches. I was tired all the time and I could not sleep properly. I wouldn't take my daughter out to the park because I didn't have the energy; I would sit in front of the TV instead."
Since losinng the weight Georgina hasn't looked back, missing only one class throughout the whole year and says shedding the pounds has given her a "new lease of life".
She said: "I am so much happier and confident now. I am getting married in December to my fiancé Nathan which has spurred me on and I have got to have my wedding dress altered because it is too big.
"I love to go out running and do 5k runs with my daughter and I love to go clothes shopping which I would avoid before. I buy myself new outfits every week and now I am a size 10-12 depending on the shop!"
Now Georgina, who started classes at 14 stone 7lbs, reached her personal achievement target within 10 months. She is hoping to inspire others in the area to transform their lifestyle and their waistlines by starting as a consultant for Slimming World on Friday, October 13.
The latest government figures reveal that around one in four adults are obese, and it is estimated that by 2034 this will increase to one in three.
Studies also show that 70 per cent of Staffordshire's population is now overweight or obese, and Georgina says her new role has never been more important.
She says: "Obesity is becoming such a huge issue across the UK. When I first joined Slimming World as a member, I never dreamed that I would end up helping other people to lose weight but now I just can’t wait to get started.
"It is a privilege for me to be able to pass on the experience, insight and understanding that helped me, so that I can give my members the support they need to get to target.
"Support is really the most important thing. It all starts with feeling that you’re not alone. As someone who has lost weight myself I know the challenges people can face, which is why I will be there to support every one of my members all the way to their chosen target weight.
"Setting targets, sharing recipes and other ideas, and working together as a group to overcome challenges and celebrate success is so important to a successful journey.
"Like a lot of slimmers, I had tried to lose weight so many times before by following numerous diets but they were never sustainable because I had always got tired of restricting what I ate. I thought I was destined to struggle with my weight for the rest of my life, but when I came to Slimming World it was different.
"I never felt like I was on a diet. The eating plan encourages you to eat lots of tasty, filling foods like pasta, rice, potatoes and lean meat and fish, you are never hungry and no foods are banned so there’s no deprivation.
"I couldn't believe I'd found a way to lose weight without starving myself. My favourite meal is chicken breast filled with low fat soft cheese, wrapped in lean bacon and served with Slimming World chips and a side salad.
"Slimming World isn't just about changing what you eat. Becoming more active is important too. Everything counts from walking to gardening to washing the car."
Stacey Goodfellow, who runs Slimming World's Branston Scouts HQ and Paget High School groups, manages Georgina as a team developer.
She said: "Slimming World consultants are chosen for their positive outlook and because they genuinely care about the health and happiness of others.
"With Georgina's experience of being a successful Slimming World member and her kind and warm personality and great sense of humour I just know that she will be an amazing support to members, cheering them all the way to their target weight."
Georgina's Slimming World group will be held at Burton Caribbean Centre every Friday at 9am and 11am from Friday, October 13. For more information or to join Georgina's group either pop along on Friday 13th October or call her on 07496 724715.