A WOMAN from Lanivet who lost ten stone in 18 months says it has changed her life.
Linda Portman said she had been embarrassed to go out because of her weight of 26 stone, but has now gained a lot of self-confidence, which helped her to get a new job.
Mrs Portman said: 'When I got to 50 I began to worry about my health. Up until then I had been fine, but I didn't want to get any older being so heavy.
"I was fed up and embarrassed every time my husband and I went out. I worried all the time about where we were going, whether I could fit into a seat, or would I be able to walk as far as everyone else.
"I never seemed to have suitable clothes for a lot of things we were invited to, so I didn't go."
She said her new-found confidence had enabled her to find a new job and communicate more with people.
"I knew I had to decide myself to lose weight. My family had nagged me for years, apart from my husband Greg, who used to worry about me in private because in the past I had bitten his head off.
"I was always cheerful and happy-go-lucky; on the outside I tried to look confident and well-groomed, but on the inside was very unhappy and used that public face to cover my inner feelings."
Mrs Portman joined a Slimming World group run by Gill Casey at Bodmin Football Club, and says she has not looked back since.
She said it had been tough going losing so much weight, but had managed it by simply eating less high-calorie food, and was now hoping to lose a little more.
"I can eat as much fruit, vegetables and meat as I like, but I try to avoid things like chocolate and cake although I can still eat those things it has to be in moderation.
Mrs Portman said: "It changed my life completely. I look in the mirror now and sometimes I don't recognise the person looking back at me.
"I feel so much more self confident; I can buy clothes off the shelf and I am happy to go out and I don't worry about having to walk anywhere or being able to fit in a seat – I haven't flown for years, but wouldn't mind now.
"I have had the self-confidence to volunteer for Victim Support and after being made redundant recently I went out and got a new job with Cornwall Council.
"Most special of all was I did not have to worry about the impression I would make at the interview or that I would be judged on my appearance rather than my abilities."