A nurse who had seen her weight creep up to over 17 stone has dropped five dress sizes after becoming scared of catching COVID while working in a hospital.
Sarah Wynter, 39, from Hereford, knew that being a size 22 could put her at higher risk of coronavirus while she battled to save lives as a front-line intensive care nurse.
The mum-of-two would also struggle to complete 12 hour shifts wearing full PPE and was left "exhausted and sweating all day" in the ICU at Hereford County Hospital where she worked.
After seeing first-hand the devastating impact the virus had, particularly on those who were overweight, and with her 40th birthday approaching, Wynter decided something had to change.
So she joined Slimming World in September last year and has managed to lose an impressive five and a half stone in the last 12 months.
At her heaviest, Wynter, who lives with her husband John, 49, a farmer, and their children Alfie, 18, and Maisey, 14, weighed 17st 6 lbs, but after overhauling her diet and lifestyle, she's now a healthier 12 stone.
The nurse said the pandemic had been the wake-up call she needed to make the change not only for her own health, but also to set a better example to her patients.
“As an intensive care nurse during the pandemic that was a real eye opener to me," she says.
"I saw first-hand what the virus did to patients with an increased BMI and thought if I ever got COVID, I would be the person in that bed."
The nurse also told how wearing full PPE for 12 and a half hour shifts was a real struggle.
"It was so hot and I was sweating all day long. My feet ached and my legs ached. Everything hurt," she explains.
“Every time I had a break, I would have to get changed because I would sweat that much."
Watch: Stay away from these bad workout habits if you want to lose weight.
While she says the pandemic and struggling to do her job were both turning points, Wynter was also motivated by her upcoming 40th birthday next February.
“I wanted to have a completely different outlook on life at 40," she says.
“I wasn’t really active at all.
"I would have things like croissants and pastries and biscuits in the morning and then maybe for lunch baguette and chips.
“And then quite often I would stop at a chip shop on the way home from work."
Wynter has now replaced takeaways and chips with a diet of fruit, pasta salad and homemade stir-fry recipes and credits weekly Slimming World classes with her incredible transformation.
“What I love about it [Slimming World] is that you are never hungry," she says.
"There is nothing you can’t have, so I still eat everything I love.
“I just adapt it and cook with less fat.
"You just have to change your mindset and be more organised," she adds.
The transformation has meant Wynter is enjoying her job a lot more now too as she can now complete a shift at work without feeling exhausted at the end of it.
“I still work in intensive care. I still wear full PPE and not once do I have to get changed," she says.
“I loved my job before but I enjoy it more now because I am not so tired all the time.
“It’s literally changed my life."
Wynter's typical diet before
Breakfast – Croissants, pastries, biscuits
Lunch – Baguette, chips
Dinner – Takeaway / chips
Wynter's typical diet now
Breakfast – Fruit and yoghurt or overnight oats
Lunch – Pasta salad
Dinner – Curry / stir fry
To find your nearest Slimming World group call 0344 897 8000 or visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk
Additional reporting SWNS.