A woman who lost four stone in just over a year after being told she could die "at any point" has been crowned 'Woman of the Year'.

Debbie Fisher, age 50, from Helston, has slimmed down from 16 stone 10 lbs to 12 stone 4 lbs in just 13 months.

She has now been named Slimming World’s Woman of the Year at the Tuesday group at Helston's Light and Life Centre.

The national competition celebrates the achievements of thousands of women up and down the country who have made long-term healthy lifestyle changes.

Debbie, who down-sized from a dress size 20 to a 14, said: “When I first joined group, I never dreamt that I would be in the position I am now. Losing weight has made such a big difference to my life.

"My health has improved, I no longer have to take any medication for blood pressure and I am no longer diabetic. I have more energy, I’m happier and I feel more comfortable in my own skin.”

Debbie joined Slimming World in July 2018 after being admitted as an emergency to hospital in May 2017 with uncontrolled diabetes and very high blood pressure, totally unaware how near to death she was.

Falmouth Packet:

Debbie before she lost weight

Her sugar levels were dangerously high  and she had a blood pressure reading of 240/120.

Debbie was told that she could die at any point.

It was the shock she needed, seeing the worry and fear on her partner’s face. Debbie managed to lose two stone on her own but needed more help as she had come as far as she could and was worried that she would start slipping back to her old ways without extra support.

“My family and friends are all amazed by how much I can eat and lose weight. I still eat all my favourite meals; roast dinners, steak and Slimming World chips being some of my favourites. I just prepare and cook them differently now – and they taste so much better.

"I never have to miss out and I don’t have to get hung up on weighing and measuring everything I eat.

“I know it can feel like a big step joining Slimming World because you don’t know what to expect, but, right from the first moment I walked into my group I was made to feel at ease, and the support I’ve received has been amazing."

Falmouth Packet:

Debbie was named 'Woman of the Year' after losing four stone

Debbie lost 5.5 lbs in her first week and was blown away that the changes she’d made had such a big impact so quickly. As the weight started to come off, she started to think about how active she was and Debbie now loves to walk five miles a day, kayak two to three hours, surf and swim more easily and go upstairs without getting out of breath.

She said: “I feel like a different woman to the one who walked into Slimming World 13 months ago and winning Woman of the Year is a real honour because there are so many amazing people in our 7pm group.

"I remember feeling like I would never be happy in my own skin again, but I’ve realised that when people believe in you – and you believe in yourself – you can do anything you set your mind to.

" I really hope my weight loss can inspire other people to get started on their own journey and know that there’s a whole group of people waiting to support them every step of the way."

Suzie Hackland, who runs the Tuesday groups, said: “I’m so proud of Debbie. She’s a fantastic ambassador for Slimming World and what she’s achieved is nothing short of incredible. She’s a huge inspiration to everyone in our 7pm group and I hope she inspires other women – and men – in Helston to change their lives in the same way.”