Slimmed-down Kelly Jo Hearsey is looking forward to a light Christmas - after being shamed by last year's festive photo.

The mum-of-two ballooned to a size 18 after years of unhealthy eating on takeaways, chocolate, crisps and sandwiches.

As a vegetarian, carbs and cheese were her biggest enemy as replacements for meat and she tipped the scales at nearly 15st.

Last year husband Glenn, 41, took a sneaky snap of her in front of her mountainous Christmas dinner.

Kelly, 40, says it made her feel sick when she looked at it and she decided to make the most important New Year's resolution of her life.

Since then she has dropped five dress sizes and lost a third of her weight, to a healthy 9 stone 10lbs.

And this year she is preparing to tuck in on Christmas Day with Glenn and kids Jay, 12, and Millie, 10, in full festive spirit.

‘Fat and ashamed’

Kelly, a professional photographer from Calvert Green, Buckinghamshire, went from an 18 to a tiny size 8 after just six months on a food replacement diet.

She said: "Every time I saw a photograph of myself I felt fat and ashamed.

"I always shied away from the camera.

"When my husband showed me the Christmas dinner picture I felt horrible. I decided I needed a whole new mind set when it came to food."

She added: "I used to walk past shop windows, glimpse my reflection and feel a huge wave of shame, guilt, horror and loathing.

"Now I have to do a double take and still can't believe it's me, I can't get enough of looking in the mirror.

"I've had to buy a whole new wardrobe for myself, it feels amazing to try on clothes and find they just fit so easily.

"My husband has always been so supportive of me, and has never really known me a different size, but I think he finds me more attractive now, though he'd never say it."

Shrinking stomach

Kelly followed the Ideal Weight diet - which includes eating nutrition packs such as milkshakes, soups, meals and bars, as replacements for meals.

She now just has one regular healthy meal in the evening, which includes low-carb salads and lots of veg.

Kelly, who loves cooking Christmas dinner for her family, said she won't be holding back on Christmas Day.

She said: "It's been so long since I've been this slim and I'm at the stage where I have to maintain the weight.

"But I'm going to enjoy Christmas this year and I won't hold back, I really enjoy this time of year.

"My stomach has shrunk and I can't eat the way I used to now and I'll go back on the diet in the New Year just to get back to where I was again."

Picture credit: SWNS