A WOMAN has lost an impressive six stones after joining a city weight loss group.

Julie Elms said she was motivated to do something about her weight after suffering pain and noticing she was struggling to do her job as a teaching assistant properly.

The 38-year-old, who works with special needs children at Fort Royal School, said: "It got to a point enough was enough.

"Before the first lockdown I was struggling to sit down on the floor with children, and had pain in joints and my feet.

"Since my early 20s I had put on weight, so I've spent a lot of time bigger than I wanted to be.

"I knew the first thing doctors would say would be I was carrying extra weight, so I figured I should try to do something myself.

"I was sceptical though, I couldn't see going to a group each week would help."

Miss Elms, who lives with partner Simon and 12-year-old son, said she joined the Slimming World group in lockdown using weekly virtual meetings, and noticed a difference before finally being able to attend the group in person at the Blackpole Inn in October.

"It was great going in person, I found it really supportive," Miss Elms said.

"I've got my six stone award now, it has been great for my health, to improve my confidence. You feel better for it, I've got more energy to do things and helping me in my job."

Miss Elms said the group, run by friend Sam Whelan, had helped her with her eating more healthy.

“I’ve learned to cook from scratch - my favourite is making a pizza using a wrap or turkey steaks as the base, and home-made burgers," she said.

"The biggest challenge for me as a slimmer, is going out to eat with friends or relatives, as some pubs and restaurants don’t have options other than triple-cooked chips.

"Slimming World teaches you how to make top swaps to things like jacket potato, that aren’t cooked in fats and oils."

For more on the group visit slimmingworld.co.uk.