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Need some New Year weight loss inspiration? Look no further than Sheffield super slimmer Helen Harrand

Helen shows off her weight loss.
Helen shows off her weight loss.

When it comes to New Year resolutions, losing weight is often at the top of the list for many of us.

And anyone who needs a little inspiration for 2018 should look no further than super slimmer Helen Harrand.

Helen before.

Helen before.

For the Sheffield mum-of-one has been there and done it - shedding about nine stone in two super slimming stints.

The 54-year-old ballooned up to 19 stone in 2014 but managed to lose four stone so she could go under the knife for an operation.

Due to inactivity through resting at home after the surgery in late 2015, she put the weight back on and went back up to about 18 stone.

But knowing that she had already shed the pounds once, Helen got back on the diet and over the last year or so has managed to lose five stone, dropping back down to 13 stone.

Helen with an old pair of trousers.

Helen with an old pair of trousers.

She has also dropped from a size 26 dress to a size 14.

The Chapeltown supermarket worker said: "If I can do it, anyone can.

"You just need the determination to see it through."

Helen, who suffers from Crohn's inflammatory bowel disease, was told by doctors to lose weight prior to having part of her small bowel removed.

Jackie Hetherington with her husband Martin Carlton.

Jackie Hetherington with her husband Martin Carlton.

But after completing two successful weight loss regimes, she told how customers and colleagues at Chapeltown ASDA keep complimenting her on her new slimline figure.

She said modestly: "It is really flattering of people to say but sometimes I do get a bit embarrassed."

Helen readily admits she used to do no exercise at all and had a diet of junk food such as pizza, chips and burgers and chocolate biscuits.

But now she enjoys a much healthier diet of chicken, fish, supplemented by fruit and vegetables. Helen also goes swimming and enjoys walking.

Helen after her weight loss.

Helen after her weight loss.

While a balanced diet and exercise is key, Helen said she could not have done it without the help of her Weight Watchers mentor Jackie Hetherington and the points plan.

She said: "You can eat what you want so long as you don't go over the number of points. So things like plain chicken, fruit and veg are no points, but a chocolate digestive, which I love, is four points.

"I have to stick to 23 points per day and it works for me."

She added that the foreboding thought of having to weight yourself in front of others at group meetings each week also drives her on.

Said Helen: "It gives you something to aim for, but it is also great to make new friends and swap recipes."

So what is her top tip for losing weight?

"Keep a food diary. Every time you eat something, write it down.

"It will surprise you just how much you eat."

Weight Watchers group leader Jackie, a mum-of-two, described Helen as an "inspiration to everyone around her."

Here are Jackie's top five tips for losing weight.

*Group support is always a winner

*Plan your meals in advance

*Keep a record of food intake

*Set realistic goals

*Be focused and change your behaviour towards food and habits.

And the top five reasons why people fail to lose weight

*People aim too high too soon

*Over eating

*Trying to change or do too, much too soon

*People see it as a diet and not a life plan change

*People think they can do it alone.