A woman is inspiring others to lose weight after she lost five-and-a-half stone in a year and won a top award in her Slimming World group.

Kimberleigh Murphy, from Bury, first joined her Slimming World group after looking back at holiday pictures last year and being shocked by the way she looked.

She said how her and her family went on a staycation break and when she looked at the photos, she described herself as “looking ill” and “questioned who she was looking at”.

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Kim said: “My son couldn’t get his arms around me in a photo of him hugging me. First I cried, then I searched for a Slimming World group near me.

“Looking back, I didn’t realise how unhealthy I had become.

“My job working with children with additional needs kept me active and I loved it, but it took all of my mental and physical energy and by the time I got home I was exhausted.

“Socialising had become a chore and keeping up with my son was becoming impossible.”

A week after they came back from holiday, Kim went to her first Slimming World session.

After feeling anxious and embarrassed, she said how she was put at ease immediately after walking through the doors.

Kim added: “The first thing the consultant did was assure me that my weight would never be announced to the group and that only changes in weight are celebrated and supported.

“She explained that nothing is 'off limits' and that the plan can fit in with family life with no extra cooking!

“During the group I experienced 'image therapy' which despite the perhaps daunting name, is a wonderful experience where weight losses are celebrated, gains are supported, and members talk about things such as their favourite recipes and low 'syn' treats they had found.”

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In her first week, Kim lost 6.5 pounds, and after 12 weeks had lost two stone 3.5. pounds and people started noticing a physical difference and that she was happier and more confident.

Her husband Matthew is an avid runner and encouraged Kim to give the NHS "couch to 5k" challenge a go.

Kim said: “He supported me every step of the way, literally.

“The first weeks I couldn’t complete the 30 second runs, however I persevered and in June I completed the C25K programme and in July I completed a 5k.”

After 12 months, Kim has lost a total of five-and-a-half stone.

She had praised her Slimming World family for their amazing support.

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Kim added: “In August this year I won 'Woman of the Year' at my group, and you’ll have to believe me when I say I had some tough competition, our group is full of such inspirational people.”

Kim is excited to be able to help others with their weight loss dreams by opening her own Slimming World group at Christ Church (Church Hall), off Walmersley Road, BL9 5JU.

For more information, contact Kim on 07938 753499.

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