A CALDICOT woman has lost five stone and taken on a second job as a Weight Watchers leader after being asked to be a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding.
Melissa Dowsell, 26, weighed 14 stone and 11 pounds before starting her new regime in November 2010 but now weighs under 10 stone.
After beginning to put weight on during her last year of university due to a heavy workload, Miss Dowsell started dieting to try and bring her weight down.
But after joining Weight Watchers she realised that a complete lifestyle change was needed – including giving up smoking - rather than a short-term crash diet.
“Most people thought it was a crazy time to start trying to lose weight,” said Miss Dowsell. “It was so close to the run up to Christmas, however by then I had already lost half a stone.
“I knew that joining Weight Watchers wouldn't be a quick fix and that it was going to be a complete lifestyle change.
“I got to my goal in August and have been maintaining ever since.”
Miss Dowsell ran the Cardiff half marathon in 2012, something she thought would never be possible. Now she has her eyes on her next target which is to win her 75 pound weight-loss certificate from Weight Watchers.
She has also now become a leader at her slimming classes in a bid to inspire others to achieve the same success that she has.
“I thought that all this was going to be so hard and that I would never stick to it,” she added. “However Weight Watchers gave me the tools that I needed to be able to stick to the plan.
“I still go out on the weekends and enjoy myself, but I still lose weight. I will never look back.
“It doesn’t feel like a job, I enjoy it so much that it’s more like a hobby and it’s great to help others.”
If you wish to join one of Miss Dowsell’s classes she is hosting a new meeting on Sunday, January 26 at the Burnt Barn Social Club, Chepstow, at 9.30am.
Snack: Six chocolate digestives
Lunch: Sandwich, Sausage roll and a packet of crisps
Tea: Takeaway mostly or lasagne with lots of garlic bread.
Supper: Chocolate biscuits and crisps.
Breakfast: Yoghurt or fruit
Lunch: Ham salad or vegetable sushi
Dinner: Chicken/ Fish with rice and vegetables
Snacks: Freddo or fruit