A mum of two who lost five stone in weight after being upset by her appearance in family Christmas photographs is to help others by setting up her own slimming group.

Nicky after losing five stoneNicky after losing five stone

Since losing weight, Nicky Hoad, 35, from Huntingdon, has developed a passion for running and completed her first half-marathon in March.

Now Nicky is launching her own Slimming World group at the St John Ambulance Centre in Huntingdon from August 30, with sessions at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

She joined Slimming World in January 2017 after suffering weight problems since her teens and had reached just over 16 stone.

Nicky, a fire service project manager, said: “I had no confidence. I avoided a lot of social situations due to feeling so self-conscious and I just felt so tired all the time. My health was also suffering due to my weight as I struggled with IBS and acid reflux on a regular basis.”

But she decided she had to take action after hating the family Christmas photographs taken in 2016 - but was still worried about joining Slimming World: “I felt nervous and embarrassed walking in [to Slimming World] and it took everything I had not to turn around but everyone was just so friendly and supportive and I never felt judged at all,” said Nicky.

She said she was still surprised at the meals she could make which suited the whole family, such as spaghetti bolognaise and steak and chips, while still losing weight.

“Before starting Slimming World I barely cooked fresh and we ate very, very little fruit and vegetables but now we all eat a lot healthier and have much more energy,” Nicky said.

She said she did no exercise at all and promised herself to start running - barely making it to the next lamppost without having to stop, but she loves her sport and has made new friends through local runners Team Bex.

Now she has trained as a consultant for Slimming World, saying: “When I first joined Slimming World I never dreamed I would end up helping other people to lose weight but now I can’t wait to get started.

“I am still on my journey to my target weight but I feel really lucky to be able to support others to transform their health and lives with Slimming World.”

Nicky, who believes support is key, said people could either turn up on August 30 or contact her on 07860 375095.