Sophie Clarke was one of just 54 women to win a place at the semi-finals of Slimming Worlds Woman of the Year 2016 competition after losing 12st 7.5lbs. It was at the awards evenning that she was congratulated by Mark Foster, who is Britains most-decorated male swimmer and six-time world champion. Sophie, who slimmed from 22st 10.5lbs to 10st 3.5lbs, made it to the semi-finals after members at her Alconbury group voted for her to be their representative for the national Woman of the Year competition. She then went on to win her regional heat, which put her in the running to win the overall title of Woman of the Year 2016 and a holiday to Mexico. Sophie said: Id tried and failed to lose weight so many times that I honestly thought that I was destined to be overweight forever. Before Slimming World, I always found myself feeling deprived, hungry and miserable when I tried to lose weight. Slimming World completely opened my eyes to a totally new way of eating. The changes Ive made were so simple that I actually barely noticed them little things like switching white bread for wholemeal and using low-calorie cooking spray instead of lots of oil. I did notice the change on the scales though in my first week I lost 8lbs! I couldnt believe it because Id felt so full and satisfied. Joanne See, who runs the Alconbury group that Sophie attends, said: Sophie is such an inspiration to everyone in our group. While she has lost weight shes grown in so many other ways her confidence, her happiness and her zest for life. The overall winner of Slimming World Woman of the Year 2016 will be announced next month.