For Mandy Crowther, it was gazing at photographs of her 50th birthday celebrations that led her to make a life-changing decision.

“The photographs were horrendous. I thought I had to do something,” says Mandy.

The mother-of-two, from Wibsey, had battled with her weight for most of her life. “I have been big since I was a kid. We used to do lots of swimming but when I moved back home it all stopped,” she says.

Mandy spent several years living in Hong Kong while her father was serving in the RAF.

“I went through school having the mickey taken out of me when I couldn’t get on the trampoline,” she says.

She made efforts to shed the pounds, and lost weight twice, but it never stayed off.

Struggling with fibromyalgia, a long-term condition causing pain all over the body, which has affected her knees, Mandy became less active and the weight began piling on.

“In the last few years I got up to between 14st,” she says.

Having seen her neighbour’s success with Slimming World, she joined her local group and lost 2st in 18 months, dropping from a size 18/20 dress size to a 12. As a treat she invested in something she had longed to wear – a short tartan kilt!

“With Slimming World you can eat so much you’re always full. It is sensible eating but there’s nothing you can’t have. You can have a day where you have a few ‘sins’ but you are eating healthy for the rest of the time and you don’t feel as though you’re deprived.”

Losing weight has changed Mandy’s life and she too has decided to start the new year as a consultant. Being over 50 and suffering from a condition which affects her mobility, Mandy is showing would-be slimmers in similiar circumstances that they too can achieve slimming success.

“I have got so much through it and being able to do it and lose my weight, I want to do it for other people,” she says.

Mandy Crowther’s classes are at St Matthew’s Church, Bankfoot, on Wednesdays. For more information all 07751 063798.