A MONMOUTHSHIRE woman said she has a new outlook on life after losing almost five and a half stone in just under two years.

In December 2017, Samantha Varley weighed 14st 5lbs, but after other people made comments about her weight, she decided to make a change,

"I was at a News Year's Eve party a few years ago and we just started talking," she said. "Someone asked me if I had a New Year's resolution, I said I didn't. They then said it should be to lose some weight.

"I was so upset. I thought is this what people think of me?

"I spoke to my mum about it, and we agreed to go to Slimming World together. At first, I couldn't even look my consultant in the eye."

Miss Varley, from Govilon, completely changed her way of life, and just before Christmas 2019, reached her goal of nine stone.

Impressively, Miss Varley has managed to maintain her weight loss despite the months in lockdown.

"I used to be an emotional eater, so any time I was upset I would turn to eating," she said.

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"Before I started, I couldn't walk up the stairs without getting out of breath.

"It's not been a diet, it's been a complete lifestyle change.

"I now do ballroom, Latin, and quickstep dancing, as well as Zumba. I now go out for a walk or exercise when I am feeling down.

"I love the person I've become. If you would have told me five years ago that I would be this person, I wouldn't have believed you.

"I'm so proud of who I've become. It's made me have a different outlook on life."

As well as losing weight, Miss Varley's new lifestyle has had a noticeable difference on her health, as she no longer needs to use an inhaler.

Miss Varley's weight loss saw her crowned the Slimming World Gilwern group's 'Woman of the Year' for 2019.