HAVING found her weight an embarrassment for a lot of her life, her sister's wedding spurred Frankie Ruttledge on to lose six stones and to become a slimming club leader. She tells health reporter Kate Liptrot how she did it.

WHEN she was asked to be bridesmaid for her sister, Frankie Ruttledge realised she had to do something about her weight.

She had been a bridesmaid twice before but at 18.5 stones and a size 22 felt self conscious about being the centre of attention and dreaded having her photograph taken.

The weight had quickly crept on while Frankie was a student at university and while she didn't want to think about it, it was affecting her health - leaving her out of breath when she climbed a flight of stairs and even discouraging from going on holiday as she couldn't comfortably fit into a plane seat.

Now Frankie wanted to do her sister proud and her determination was cemented when she was directly asked about her weight by a relative who hadn't seen her in a while.

"A few months after being asked to be a bridesmaid, a family member asked if I had always been as big as I am now and I was mortified," she said, "I had always been big but had never had to address the topic head on.”

With this shock to the system Frankie joined her local Slimming World group in Pocklington in January 2013.

The 23-year-old focused on eating healthy home made food to quickly lose her first stone in three weeks.

From here she kept on losing and took social occasions and holidays in her stride but just making sure she kept eating the foods she wanted, but in moderation.

"On holiday with my friend I not only managed to fit into the aeroplane seat for the first time but also made full use of the all inclusive buffet and came back from my holiday with a weight loss," Frankie said, "I was delighted with my progress and was enjoying socialising more than ever.”

By the time her sister Philippa got married, Frankie had lost three-and-a-half stones lighter three dress sizes and three dress sizes and felt fabulous for the very first time: “Friends and family were so proud of me and for the first time I was complimented on the way I looked. I was even asked to be a bridesmaid again for the following year and saw this as my next target.”

By the second wedding in April of this year, Frankie had lost a further two stones and dropped another two dress sizes; she is feeling more confident than ever before.

Now with a weight loss of six stones, she has taken up walking and running and she even volunteered to run on the staff relay team at Sports Day this year.

In her personal life, Frankie has found new love and her fiancé Luke - who proposed to her last week - is benefitting from her healthy home cooking too, losing over a stone-and-a-half himself.

" Along with my awards for ‘Woman of the Year’ and ‘Miss Slinky’ in 2013, Luke and I also won ‘Couple of the Year’ 2014 at my local group,” she said.

“It was time I put myself first and gave myself the chance of a better future. I can now buy clothes in ‘normal’ shops with my friends and not only wear a size 12 dress but also wear a huge smile on my face. I’m very close to my target weight and now I know the next wedding I slim for is likely to be my own."

- Frankie is opening her own Slimming World Group at The Reading Rooms, Dunnington on Monday, July 28, at 7pm. For more information call Frankie on 07935939775 or check out www.slimmingworld.co.uk for your nearest group.