TWENTY-year-old Terri-Leigh Burton now weighs less than she did as an 11-year-old child.

Weighing 12 stone at the age of 11, Miss Burton, from Ebbw Vale, went on to be bullied for five years at secondary school.

In May 2011, she weighed 16 stone and six pounds and was a size 20 but agreed to go along to a Slimming World group in Ebbw Vale with her Auntie.

Eighteen months later and the care worker has managed to shed six and a half stone and says she is at last confident and comfortable with her weight.

She was voted Slimming World's Young Slimmer of the Year for her group and made it through to the final 38 for the national competition.

Miss Burton said: "I was always big really. When I was 11 I weighed 12 stone which is more than I do now. I wasn't a loud child at school and started to get bullied at comprehensive school."

She said her school life at Glyncoed Comprehensive was like a vicious circle - the more she was buillied, the more she ate and so the more she was bullied.

She said: "I never wanted to go to school. I would make up excuses for why I couldn't go. I was depressed and down all the time. It was horrible for my family because I would come home and take it out on them.

"I didn't eat at school but I binged non-stop from the minute I came home."

Miss Burton said she tried diets and to cut down on food but nothing worked and so did not believe Slimming World would work.

But she said: "I lost half a stone in the first week and it made me think I could actually do it. That thought kept me going because it seemed to be working."

Miss Burton is now a size ten and weighs ten stone and five and a half pounds.

She said maintaining her new size and keeping the weight off is now the hardest part.

Her Slimming World consultant Sarah Legge said: "Everyone is so proud of Terri-Leigh. What she's achieved is so much more than just losing weight.

It's completely changed her life. She's a real inspiration to other people."

Menu has changed

AT HER heaviest, Miss Burton said she would eat three or four Weetabix for breakfast and would snack all day.

She would have five large meals a day such as chips, cheese and gravy, takeways or burgers.

Now the 20-year-old eats cereal for breakfast; pasta, salad or jacket potatoes for her other two meals and has fruit for snacks.