A ST IVES woman used a double tragedy to inspire her bid to lose seven and a half stones in weight.

Tina Good, who had to cope with the deaths of both her mum and best friend, successfully dropped from a dress size 28 to a 12/14.

Tina, 51, said: "It was a very hard year, but I realised that life is for living.

"If there's something you want to do you shouldn't let anything stop you - life is not a rehearsal.

"It was my mum getting frail that made me lose weight. I was helping to lift her and move her around and it struck me that, if anything happened to me, my family wouldn't be able to lift me."

Tina, who works part-time at Tesco in Huntingdon, joined a LighterLife Weight Loss Management Programme, also in Huntingdon, in February 2011 weighing in at 18stone 8lbs.

"When mum died, I had to make the decision whether to give it up or just stick with it," said Tina, who is married to Julien and has two children, Tim and Jonathan.

"It did give me something to concentrate on and I'd lost three stone by then so it would have been a shame to have lost that.

"As well as the issues with my health and mum, we had a big holiday to America planned and I was embarrassed about having to ask for a seatbelt extension.

"I wanted to be able to do my seatbelt up properly.

"We had to cancel the holiday because of my mum's funeral, but later in the year we went on a smaller holiday, and I was delighted I could sit in the aeroplane seat without any embarrassment.

By May of this year Tina weighed 10st 12lbs before settling at between 11st and 11st 6lbs.

"We've just got back from our latest trip where I wasn't wrapped up hiding in a sarong all the time - and was happy to sunbathe on a sunbed, as I knew I wouldn't break it," she said.

"My knees don't creak when I walk downstairs now, I don't get beetroot coloured when I exercise - I do yoga and zumba - and my blood pressure is now low."

Tina's LighterLife counsellor, Owen Matthew, has also asked her to train as a locum to help him.

She added: "I've said yes, which I'd never have had the confidence to do before."