A super slimmer has changed her life in just 18 months, more than halving her body weight.

Paula Spenceley, 54, from Heybridge, has dropped from a size 26 to a 12 after she made the decision to make the change.

She said: “I tried many times to lose weight over the years, but always ended up quickly putting anything I lost back on, plus a bit more.

“I did my best to look like I was happy as I was, but the reality was very different.

“I hated every photo of myself and was incredibly self-conscious.

“Every social occasion was an act where I tried to appear confident and outgoing, yet on the inside all I really felt was shame.

“In the end, even walking became painful and I started staying at home quite often when family members wanted to do anything remotely active.

“It’s hard to think of all the happy times I missed out on because of my weight.”

At 5ft 6ins, Paula weighed 20st at her largest.

She has now more than halved that weight, now weighing just 9st 7lb.

The change came after she joined the Wickham Bishops branch of Slimming World in March 2017.

She said: “I went through some difficult things in my life, like we all do at times, but those things became a turning point for me.

“What I came to realise is that there’s a lot of things in life I can’t change, but my weight isn’t one of them.

“For me, losing all this weight is not just a dream come true – it’s a whole new way of life.”

Paula was rewarded as one of the regional winners for the organisation’s Woman of the Year competition.

She has since decided to become a consultant for her group that helped her to make a massive change.

Paula said it has become a central part of her life and hopes to encourage more people to make a change.

She said: “I know first hand how it feels to have a weight problem and I understand the misery it brings, as well as how hard it is to take those first steps to doing something about it.

“Now I want to help other people achieve their own weight loss goals.”

Paula’s groups meet on Tuesdays at 9.30am.

For more details, call her on 07852 287381.