As post Christmas diets begin all over the country, two women from the Helston area are celebrating losing a whopping 20 stone between them.

Marie Wright and Rachel Wearne have each lost ten stone and have now been named top slimmers for 2017 in their Slimming World groups.

Marie joined the group run by Jo Wignell in Mullion after being warned about her health by doctors, following a 999 call that resulted in her being rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties and pains in her arms and chest.

Marie said: "I remember lying in hospital thinking about my two children. Who would be there to wipe the tears after a first breakup or celebrate their achievements and life? After a split with their father the previous year and he had moved away, they needed me.

"This is when I knew I had to make some changes. I had been overweight since childhood and most of my life I remember struggling with low self esteem and food bingeing. My dad had died with heart disease when mum was pregnant and this always made me feel different, and I suppose I used food as my comfort blanket.

"I had tried every fad diet going and would lose a bit of weight and then go back to bingeing and gorging in secret, leading to a viscous cycle of feeling guilty and making me even worse, ballooning my weight to a size 26 clothing.

"Continuing treatment at the hospital for my heart I was diagnosed as having anxiety. I remember feeling relief as I knew I still had time to make changes to improve my health and started researching weight loss surgery as I felt I had so much weight to lose and this was my only choice."

However, after seeing pictures on social media of people losing weight through Slimming World, she joined the first meeting of a new group starting at Mullion Football Club - and never looked back.

"Once the first stone had gone, and with the support of the group and my amazing consultant, I started to believe I could do this. Two months later and two stone gone I felt confident enough to try some 'body magic' (exercise). The first walk/run I thought I was going to pass out but now I'm running 15K and feel so fit and healthy; I've more energy and confidence than I could have ever imagined.

"Reaching my ten stone award and dropping seven dress sizes was the most amazing, exhilarating moment for me in group - I'm proud of me for the first time in my life."

She now has 11lbs left to reach her target weight.

Rachel Wearne is a member of Dawn Jones' group in Helston and had tried many ways of losing weight, only going to a Slimming World meeting because a friend wanted some company.

"I am such a shy person and really nervous, so going with someone else made me feel a little less apprehensive. My consultant made me feel so welcome but I'm one of the fussiest eaters going and was still not sure this was going to work for me. I left group, grabbed some shopping to get me started straight away and the rest is history.

"I didn't realise how far I'd come, even though I have dropped seven dress sizes, until a friend of mine I hadn't seen in a while didn't even recognise me and she cried when she saw me. My confidence has grown so much and I feel like I have so much more energy.

"I'm forever grateful to my friend who encouraged me to give Slimming World a try as it really has changed my life."

There are four consultants in the Helston area, Jo Wignell, Dawn Jones, Suzie Hackland and Kristina Johnson, whose members lost a combined 2,083 stone during 2017.