A PHOTOGRAPH taken just before a milestone birthday reduced Beverley Green to tears.

"Two weeks before my 40th birthday I did something I didn't normally do - have my photo taken," says the 46-year-old from Wyke.

"I cried and cried and cried - who was that lady staring back at me? I honestly didn't recognise myself. How did I get that big without realising. I was so unhappy, I didn't want to be here."

Beverley believes working long hours in the pub industry, which she left in 2011, and grabbing meals when she could contributed to her weight gain.

She'd previously lost weight through Weight Watchers but admits she got out of the habit so she joined her local group in Bailiff Bridge run by Kirstie Griffen.

"Kirstie was so welcoming, but when I saw that number on the scale - 17st 4lb - I just wanted the ground to swallow me up," recalls Beverley.

But her confidence grew with every pound she lost and she also developed an interest in running - an activity she didn't even enjoy at school!

After undertaking the Couch 2 5k running plan for beginners supported by her 17-year-old son, Jack, Beverley, who also has a 10-year-old daughter, Grace, learned about the parkrun in Brighouse.

She is now part of the core team for adult and junior parkrun and, recently, became an ambassador for junior parkrun.

Beverley, along with her pals, also set up Brighouse Bumble Bees - a group for all abilities, from walkers to fast runners.

She completed two 10K races this year and is currently waiting to see if she has secured a place in next year's London marathon.

"Not bad for a girl who hated running at school," she says.

So far Beverley has lost over six stone, dropped from a size 24 to size 12 and is 5.5lb away from goal. "It's taken six years to get to this stage, but I'm happy with that because the weight has stayed off," she says.

Beverley credits her family and friends within Weight Watchers and the running groups with supporting her through what has been a life-changing experience.

"I am happier. I've found my old me, bubbly and confident," she says.

Next August she and her husband, Lester, and their children are heading to Crete where they will re-new their wedding vows after 24 years of marriage and Beverley can't wait to be on camera!

"For once I want to be in those photographs - I was the one hiding behind the camera - that is the big change now, I am more happy, more confident to be in photos," says Beverley.

Coach, Kirstie Griffen, says: “I am so proud of Bev. She is a fantastic inspiration and it’s a privilege to be part of her journey. Bev has a great following on Instagram and I love seeing her posts as she shares her weight loss journey.

"She is a wonderful advocate of the Flex plan and enjoys life whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I’m looking forward to supporting Bev on the rest of her journey and it will be a very special day when I hand Bev her Gold Certificate."

Kirstie Griffen runs four workshops a week in Brighouse. For more information, or to get involved, visit WW.co.uk.