A DUDLEY woman will celebrate this Christmas a much healthier woman than last year after successfully dodging diabetes thanks to the help of a Halesowen slimming group.

Dawn Garratt-Cochrane has shed 77lbs over the past 12 months and has also reversed the threat of diabetes and lowered her cholesterol to a normal level.

The 54-year-old was inspired to change her lifestyle, which involved eating several family sized bags of crisps a day, as she was pre-diabetic and suffering from aching joints.

Dawn, who works as a sewing machinist, explained: “I knew I had to do something so I walked into the Weight Watchers workshop at Haden Cross Fire Station one Friday morning and I have never looked back. Everyone was so welcoming I couldn’t believe it.

“Suddenly, I was in the right frame of mind to lose weight and my husband and daughter have been supportive as well. I don’t crave chocolate or puddings – my downfall are crisps. I would eat several family sized bags a day. I still have them but now in moderation and as a treat. I have found a new love for fruit and roast dinners."

She has also cut out ready meals and now cooks her meals from scratch, along with walking her dog three times a day to keep active.

Dawn also credits her wellness coach, Anne Wythes, for helping her believe in herself to achieve her weight loss goals.

She added: "This Christmas I am ready to party. My self confidence and self esteem has changed dramatically and I now feel like a different person. It’s amazing what can be achieved in a year in relation to weigh loss and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it – just do it."