A mother-of-two who changed her lifestyle for the sake of her health has shed 7st and scooped the title of super-fit slimmer of the year.

Debbie Plumpton, of Liversedge, was by her own admission a stranger to exercise and used to weigh 16st 5lb and wear a size 24. She is now 9st 5lb and wears a dress size eight to ten.

The 43-year-old had been overweight for more than 20 years, but when her father become ill with cardiac disease and she watched him deteriorate it made her realise she did not want to put her two children through the same anguish of seeing a parent suffer.

“I knew cardiac disease was hereditary and wanted to minimise my own risk and become healthier for the sake of my boys,” said Debbie.

When she struggled to get up Pen-y-ghent on a family walk, she knew she had to change her lifestyle. That walk took five hours, but since losing 7st she has completed the walk in two-and-a-half hours.

In honour of her achievements Debbie was yesterday presented with a Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Magazine Super-Fit Slimmer of the Year 2013 Award, along with £1,000, at a ceremony in London.

Debbie started slimming in April 2011 and succeeded in shedding 6lb in the first week. “It was the perfect incentive to keep going with the diet,” she said.

After losing her first stone in a month, it took her the same amount of time to lose her second stone. After that, she lost a further stone every two months and by December 2011, she was down to 11st 5lb.

That Christmas, Debbie’s father died, but she was relieved that he had seen her lose the majority of her weight.

“He was so proud of me,” Debbie said.

She reached her goal weight in May 2012, and, since losing the weight, exercises with a passion.