A busy mum-of-three from Old Catton is celebrating after losing four-and-a-half stone in six months and has maintained her weight since last summer.

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Carla Denton, 34, decided to take action after she ballooned to a size 20 and joined a slimming group.

Having never really recovered from her initial baby weight from the birth of her first child, her weight continued to increase steadily over the next 14 years.

She said she used to skip breakfast, and snack on crisps and chocolate without considering the long-term implications.

She then had two more children causing the weight to continue to pile on. She reached a size 20 and tried several diets, but could never stick to them and when she started to eat normally again even more weight would go on.

“The turning point for me came when I saw a photo and felt utter shock and disgust at the way I looked. As well as how I looked I was worried for my long-term health.”

Her doctor recommended Slimming World, suggesting she could join as part of an NHS referral scheme that was running in Norwich, which meant she could go to a group for 12 weeks to gain support and learn how to make changes.

The mum-of-three added: “I went along for the first meeting, feeling apprehensive and nervous.

“My initial nervousness was immediately dissipated as I was made to feel so welcome.

“The consultant, Mandy, explained to me the eating plan, it sounded so easy.

“I couldn’t believe how much food I would still be able to eat. I was relieved that I would be able to lose weight without ever feeling deprived or being hungry.

“I just learned how to cook the meals in a different way without fats and oils.”

She added the plan fitted in with her family lifestyle and her husband, Tony, and three children Tarren 15, Charli, 12 and Ella, eight, had really enjoyed having real cooked from scratch meals like chilli con carne and spaghetti bolognese, as opposed to ready meals.

Losing weight had also caused her to become more active, she added.

For more information about the group, which meets every Tuesday at the Phoenix Centre on Mile Cross Road at 9.30am, 3.30pm, 5.30pm or 7.30pm, phone Mandy on 01603 940374.

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