LOSING weight has been a family affair for Hilperton mum Nicola Wilkes, who has shed over five stone since she joined a Melksham slimming group with her daughter.

The mother-of-six joined the Bowerhill group of Slimming World with her 24-year-old daughter Hannah last February, and has since dropped from a size 22 to 14.

She said: “My youngest child is six years old and I have three at primary school, and it was hard to keep up with them. Now I don’t struggle to use the stairs, it’s put the spring back in my step.”

The decision to get back into shape was prompted by a holiday to the USA. She said: “My weight has steadily crept up over the years, having children, never quite losing all the baby weight.

“I turned 50 in October 2012, and the flight to New York as a birthday present was very uncomfortable. I narrowly avoided asking for a seat belt extension.”

Now, thanks to home-cooked recipes from Slimming World Mrs Wilkes, who runs Complete Lettings in Trow-bridge, enjoys improved health and self-confidence.

“The children love the food, and so does my husband Mark,” she said.

“The positive comments that I get from people who see me even on a daily basis have been incredible; they’re always amazed when they see me tucking into big portions of meat and salads at lunch. “Landlords who haven’t seen me for a year can’t believe it.”

The group is run by Kim Heath, who herself lost 2st 7lb. She said: “Members develop the skills to overcome the emotional challenges slimmers face, including learning to be kind to yourself and get ‘back on the horse’ when you do have a blip.

“Nicola’s done really well, we’re all very proud of her.”

For more information about the group visit www.slimmingworld.com