AN ABINGDON woman is flying high after shedding the pounds helped her achieve her hot air balloon dream.

Georgina Arnold was inspired to lose weight after attending a wedding and being unhappy with how she appeared in photos.

She said: "I’ve always been plump, but it was my end of school exams stress that probably started the weight gain as I comfort-ate while I was revising.

"When I got to college I’d regularly go for high fat sugary drinks at Costa and eat ready meals from Tesco for lunch.

"When I saw picture of myself at a wedding I realised that things had got to change and thought: ‘Let’s reverse the damage before it goes too far.’”

In January 2017, with another wedding coming up in the summer, the 21-year-old, along with her mum and a friend decided to join Weight Watchers together to lose a stone each before the wedding.

She said: "I didn’t want to repeat the last wedding photo shocker and was determined to look gorgeous for the wedding photos.

"We joined as a team to motivate each other."

Ms Arnold has gone from 16st 9 lbs to 13st 6.5lbs, shedding over three stone, and the weight loss has had another benefit.

She said: "I’m learning to be a balloon pilot. With the weight loss, my weight’s not only healthier, it also means I can fly with more people. I can now go with two in a basket rather than just one other person which means I get to do more flying."

She said the weight loss was about eating differently and that swapping snacks of sweets for fruit and making food from scratch was also a big help.

She added: "I’ve also been lucky with my colleagues at work. We have a dog in the office and I take her out for a walk each lunchtime, which gets me moving more.

"I don’t have a dog at home, so I just borrow one. I’ve also joined the gym with one of my colleagues.

"If I was talking to people who wanted to lose weight but don’t know where to start, I’d say just do it.

Think about what you’re doing before you allow it to get out of hand.”

Aside from helping her train to be a balloon pilot the weight loss has also helped her think about life differently.

She said: "I’m way more confident in myself.

"Not only do I feel better because I look great, I think about things differently now.

"I would say that I’m more likely to make the right life choices.

"I’ve chosen not to spend time with the people who were perpetuating my bad habits and encouraging me to be lazy and not eat well."