A TAUNTON mum has slimmed her way into a new career.

Mother-of-two Jo Helyar will be starting a new career as a Slimming World consultant after shedding 4st 7lbs.

Jo, who previously worked as a civil servant, recently decided to take the opportunity for a career change to pursue her dreams.

She says: “My job meant that I couldn’t always spend the time I craved with my young family, and after losing weight I felt that I wanted to regain that balance, so when I heard that Slimming World were recruiting I decided to go for it!

“Losing weight has really changed my life and now I want to help others do the same!”

Jo decided to join her local group after she and her husband had celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary, a day that should have been the most romantic of occasions, but turned into one of the most embarrassing.

“We decided we’d go away for the weekend to celebrate and hired a private cottage in the grounds of a hotel; it had its own outdoor hot tub and the picture I had was of us having a relaxed childfree weekend in the sunshine enjoying the evening relaxing in our hot tub.

“Little did I know that the complimentary robes wouldn’t fit round our bulging tummies and that we would have to walk round the outside of our cottage in full view of the other hotel guests dining in the restaurant to get to our hot tub! It was the final straw.”

She opted to join Slimming World because she had heard that there was no weighing or counting, that there were unlimited ‘free’ foods to eat and that it would fit in with the family.

“Being a mum-of-two, I wanted something that would serve family favourite meals whilst setting a great healthy example for the children. The idea of never having to go hungry because of the vast variety of ‘free’ foods you can eat also obviously appealed!”

Along Jo’s journey, during which it has taken her just 16 months to lose 4st 7lbs, her husband Gavin also shed 6st 8lbs – a combined weight loss of over 11st which landed the couple a spot in the semi-finals of the national Slimming World Couple of the Year competition.

Gavin added: “We eat normal meals like curry, cottage pie and lasagne, the only difference being we cook them differently now.

“I don’t ever feel like we’re dieting!”

If you want to know more about how, just ring Jo on 07725-588110; she’s so happy she can’t stop talking about it.

Jo will be opening her doors to welcome would-be slimmers at 9.30am today (Thursday) at St James Church, St James Street, Taunton.

Jo says: “I can’t wait – if I can help just one person to feel the way I do then it’ll be worth it.”