KAZ Rose was so shocked by a photograph showing her huge bulk that she went on to lose half her 24st weight.
Now she wants to help others follow in her footsteps.
She joined a slimming group in Gorse Hill back in 2005 after a photo of her sitting in front of four friends, in which she blocked out all of their legs, brought home how overweight she was.
It took a year and a half for the 36-year-old from Park South to lose 12st and she has managed to stay at 12st ever since by continuing the classes as well as raising 81,000 for different charities like CALM, cancer research and the British Heart Foundation through bike rides and half-marathons.
Kaz said: This is the better half of me. My weight loss journey has given me a different outlook on life and helped me become more confident - I feel like I can do more now.
Life is so busy and fast when youre young that you dont realise how big youve got until you get a sudden wake-up call like that photo.
I started the classes with friends because I wanted to get back to how I was when I was 16. My dad joined the classes too after being advised to lose weight by a doctor.
My biggest advice to people who were in my position would be to commit to it because losing weight is not easy but you will get the results that you want in the end.
After training to become a consultant herself, Kaz now leads the Slimming World group she joined 15 years ago.
Shes looking forward to starting her first session as group leader tonight at the first weekly sessions of the year in Gorse Hill Baptist Church at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
Her top tips for losing weight and keeping it off included setting targets, sharing recipes and other ideas, and working together as a group to overcome challenges and celebrate success.
Kaz added: When I first joined as a member, I never dreamed that I would end up helping other people to lose weight but now I just cant wait to get started.
Support is really the most important thing. It all starts with feeling that youre not alone. I couldnt have lost 12 stone without the weekly help, encouragement and understanding of my own consultant and group.
It isnt just about changing what you eat - becoming more active is important too. I want to help others to achieve their dreams and gain the confidence I have gained.
Now my role is to create that warm, supportive atmosphere which helps get people sharing their ideas and experiences to help others - its going to be fun.
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