WEIGHT loss winner Steph Litten shifted five stone in one year and now teachers her slimming class.
Miss Litten, from Didcot, also inspired her sister to join a slimming class, despite the emotional upheaval of losing their mum to lung cancer last year.
It started, she said, when she got “fed up” with her weight after giving birth to James, her first son, in 2012.
Weighing 11 stone, she worked at a gym, where her roles included being a fitness instructor, but her weight rose to 16 stone, her heaviest ever, after moving to an office job.
This meant she had a body mass index (BMI) of 35, five points above the “obese” level.
Miss Litten, 28, said: “I just found I was unhappy. I didn’t like to look at myself.
Steph Litten with her son James before she lost five stone
“I got into that vicious circle where I was comfort eating because I was unhappy, and I was unhappy because eating kept making me bigger.
“I said ‘enough is enough’.”
She signed up to classes with Slimming World in November 2012, where users share diet tips and support each other.
No food is off limits but calories are limited per day, and certain foods are unlimited.
By December she had reached her target weight of 10 stone, eight, and a BMI of 24, classed as “normal weight”.
Things were going well, and the mum-of-one lost a stone in the first two months, surprising herself, she said.
Then in March, her mum Joanna, who lived in Greater Leys, died, age 50.
Miss Litten, who lives with husband Dennis in Queens Way, said: “That was a stumbling block. I slowed down for a few months after that but I managed to find my rhythm again.
“It has given me more confidence. I can shop for clothes I actually want to wear – not just track suit bottoms and a T-shirt.”
On January 2 she took over running the Didcot Slimming World group, which meets weekly at Didcot Town Football Club, Bowmont Water and now leads 30 slimmers.
Sister Samantha Lundie, of Aylesbury, said it was “amazing” to see her.
Mrs Lundie, 26, said: “A year is a fantastic time to lose all that weight and I am so proud of her.
“She was the reason I started. I can see how happy she is with herself.
“Our mum would be so proud because that she came such a long way.
“Now, she is more relaxed, and she has got back her confidence.”