SARAH Riley was stuck in a catch 22.

Describing herself as ‘an emotional eater’ Sarah recalls how feeling down made her turn to food - and so the cycle continued.

Less than a year later after stepping on the scales at her local Slimming World session at 15 stone and wearing size 18 clothing - the heaviest she had ever been - Sarah couldn’t be happier after overhauling her diet - and her life.

Now celebrating her slimmer self, the 35-year-old’s success has inspired her 47-year-old partner. Since joining Slimming World in November, Sarah, from Thackley, has lost three stones and is fitting into size 12 clothing - her partner has lost the same amount since joining the group in July.

Instead of feeling fed up and miserable, Sarah is now embracing her new slimmer self. Lazy weekends have been replaced with long walks with their dog. Exercise is part of their new healthy lifestyle regime.

Recalling her journey, Sarah describes herself as stick thin during her childhood. She began putting on weight when she started socialising in her late teens.

“I still thought I would be the same person,” says Sarah, who was confident despite socialising she would retain her svelte figure.

Instead she spent her adult life yo-yo dieting. “I would lose a stone and thought it was enough but it wasn’t enough and each time I went back I weighed heavier,” she explains.

Sarah had joined Slimming World previously, lost weight successfully but slipped back into her old ways.

“I knew I had gained weight and had been putting off re-joining each week coming up with excuses that would stop me concentrating on losing weight,” she explains.

“However after a check-up at my doctors, the nurse told me I had gained too much weight to take a certain medication and that it would have to be changed as I was now classed as obese. The new medication that I was prescribed had increased health risks some relating to cancer and after my mum had battled cancer in 2013 this gave me the push I needed.”

Her initial nerves at joining the session at Idle Baptist Church evaporated once inside when she was welcomed by a supportive group of people, particularly her Slimming World consultant, Nikki.

“Listening to the new members talk I remembered how easy it was and how many changes I didn’t need to make.”

Takeaways were among Sarah’s many weaknesses but for her, Slimming World isn’t a diet, it is adopting a healthier way of life.

“I could still eat the foods I love like pasta, potatoes and even still eat Indian, Thai or Chinese by either making them from a Slimming World recipe or even still enjoying them from the takeaway and have them within my syns.”

In her first week Sarah had lost five and a half pounds. “I couldn’t believe it after all the food I had eaten. By the second week in group I had lost half a stone, by Christmas I had lost a stone - with each weigh in my confidence grew.”

“I also made friends within the group and one special friend that each week we sit next to each other and put the world to right Slimming World style but we are there to give each other support.”

Sarah also has a strong support network at home. Her children are also enjoying choosing recipes. “The children go through my Slimming World cook books putting sticky notes on the pages that they want to try,” she explains.

Among the life-changing benefits Sarah has already experienced are being able to walk up stairs without feeling out of breath.

And Sarah’s slimmer self hasn’t gone un-noticed. She recalls the nurse commenting on her weight loss during a check up appointment. “People continue to comment on the weight I have lost which gives me the boast, I couldn’t have done it without the support from my Consultant Nikki and the group.”

Now Sarah is looking forward to running her own group which runs at 5.30pm on Tuesdays incidentally at the same place where she achieved her own slimming success - Idle Baptist Church.

“I like helping others but I was inspired through my own journey and how much support I have got through Slimming World. I believe in it as well, I believe in it’s not a diet, it is a way that has changed my life,” says Sarah.

For more information visit Slimming World at Idle Baptist Church-bd10 on Facebook.