A Cotswold woman with type 2 diabetes is celebrating after losing almost eight stone in weight.

Amanda Murray has dropped from a size 26 to a size 12 and lost 7st 10lb joining Cirencester Slimming World group five years ago.

“I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when I was pregnant but in 2016 my sugar levels were very high and the doctor suggested losing weight would help and I received a 12 week free referral with Slimming World," she said.

“Being overweight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from worrying about my health, struggling to find clothes to fit to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling out of breath.

"I always felt like I was lacking energy, and like I was on a slippery slope to gaining more and more weight – I didn’t really see a way out. As a single mum I was also worried about my health and that I may not be there to be there for my two sons.”

“The welcome I received from fellow members and my consultant at my local group was incredible.

"We share recipes and ideas for getting active, and it’s useful to get tips from other members who’ve also been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or warned that they are at risk of developing diabetes.

"Although this year has undoubtedly been tough for everyone, since we have face to face group again, I have lost another 2st 10lb and now very close to achieving my eight stone target.

With support from her diabetes healthcare team, Amanda followed Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and swapped ready meals for cooking from scratch.

“People think slimming means going hungry, yet it’s not like that at all," she added.

"I love food, especially eggs and fish and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’.

"That’s the beauty of Food Optimising, it’s so flexible with so many foods that we can eat which is especially important for me as I’m also suffering from coeliac disease. I can still eat my favourite frittata just by making a few simple swaps!"

Amanda, who lives in Down Ampney, is very active nowadays and has been regularly attending boogie bounce classes and personal training sessions.

“Thanks to the changes I’ve made my health has improved dramatically and the doctor says I show no symptoms of type 2 diabetes. I’ve got my life back and I couldn’t be happier," she said.

Amanda’s story backs up research showing that people with type 2 diabetes can improve their diabetes control by making healthy lifestyle changes and losing weight. A poll of people with type 2 diabetes who had been Slimming World members for six months or more and lost at least 10 per cent of their body weight, found more than half (54 per cent) believed they had reversed their condition.

Ola Zelazinska, who runs the Cirencester Slimming World group, said: “Looking after our health is more important than ever right now, and the changes Amanda has told us about are incredible.

"I hope her success will inspire other people who’d like to lose weight, improve their health and form new lifestyle habits to take action. I am so proud of Amanda and incredibly privileged to be supporting her on her journey.”

For more information visit slimmingworld.co.uk or contact Ola on 07792 658196.