When florist Tracey Starns decided to lose weight, she had little idea how successful she would be.
Weighing 20 stone and with a history of yo-yo dieting, Tracey was, at first, very uncertain that joining her local Slimming World class in Long Melford would be a success.
But just 18 months later, the 45-year-old is on top of the world after losing eight-and-a-half stone, and has pledged that this time it is for life.
Tracey, who lives in Glemsford and works at Passion4Flowers in Clare, attends the Melford group run on Mondays at the URC hall.
She said: “I was really nervous about walking into the group that first time. I figured there would be lots of new people joining the group as it was relaunching and hoped I’d be able to blend into the background and not have to speak to anyone.
“Now I find it funny that I was so scared because I got such a warm welcome and I soon realised there was nothing to be worried about because we were all in the same boat – we all just wanted to lose weight.
“I haven’t looked back since that day. I look forward to going to group every week now, it’s my ‘me’ time and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. My son and his partner are on the plan too, so it is a family affair.
“I have also found a new love for shopping for new clothes, something I had hated for a very long time.”
After starting to slim down, Tracey felt confident enough to start being more active, too.
Now she walks her dog daily and even her mum doesn’t recognise her when she drives past.
She said: “I might have lost eight-and-a-half stone but I’ve gained so much more. I feel happier, healthier and have loads more confidence.
“I can’t believe the difference in me in just 18 months and neither can my family and friends.”