London, Nov 18 (ANI): A school teacher from Southampton has been crowned Slimming World's Woman of the Year 2010 after she shed a whopping 15 stone in 18 months and dropped from a dress size 30 to 10 through healthy eating.
Harriet Jenkins, 25, lost 8lbs in a week after turning to home-cooked meals with fresh vegetables and swapping her chocolate bars for fruit, reports the Sun.
Pretty Harriet, who at her heaviest tipped the scales at 26st 7lbs, said: "My life's completely different now and I've achieved things I thought I never would, like landing my dream job.
"It's not just because I look different and weigh less, it's also because I'm more confident and finally happy with who I am.
"I'm so proud of myself for taking control of my life and I don't think I'd feel the same way if I'd had an operation that forced me to change.
"I want people to know that even if you've got a huge amount of weight to lose, having gastric surgery isn't the only answer," she said.
Harriet was overweight as a child but piled on the pounds after her dad John died in 2003.
She comfort-ate through her university years before getting a job in a call centre, where boredom and depression saw her eating endless sweets and takeaways.
When a pal invited her to a slimming class, she discovered she weighed 6st more than she realised.
"I think I'd been in denial about my size for a long time," she said.
And within a month she had dropped 1.5st and two dress sizes.
Harriet, who now weighs a svelte 11st 7.5lb for her 5ft 8in frame, said: "As my confidence grew, I started going out with my friends more.
"But the greatest achievement is still standing up in front of a class of children," she said. (ANI)