WHAT a difference a year makes.

In less than 12 months, Christine Webb changed from being a house-bound recluse, to strutting her stuff on a fashion catwalk.

For at her heaviest Christine tipped the scales at nearly 18 stone and was so physically disabled by her weight that she had to take strong painkillers four times a day just to be comfortable enough to sleep in her reinforced bed.

“My diet consisted of frozen ready meals and junk food in quantities suitable for three people. I was in a cycle of depression and comfort eating,” she explains.

Finally reality took hold, and fearing she might suffer a prolonged and painful death alone in her home near Wimborne, she decided to take action.

“I’d heard about Slimming World through a friend and I found a local group in Lytchett Matravers, but when I arrived I lost my nerve, got back in the car and drove home again.”

Eventually Christine plucked up courage and drove back to the meeting and she hasn’t looked back since. In the first week she lost a total of 3.5lb.

A few months later she felt well enough to take on a volunteering position at a local charity shop and then went on to work at a ladies’ fashion boutique in Wimborne.

Last March the store held a fashion show and Christine modelled the clothes in a size 16/18.

“It was nerve racking but was wonderful as my mother came to see me strut my stuff.” she said.

Now Christine is running the store, has lost five stone and is a dress size 14.

“I no longer have to take daily pain medication and I also enjoy exercising at the gym a couple of times a week.’ Christine was also voted Woman of the Year at her group and has qualified as a Slimming World consultant. Her new group in Lytchett Matravers starts tomorrow at 7.30pm at the Scout Hut, High Street.

Christine adds: “I’m now back to where I started 12 months ago – only this time as a consultant rather than a member.”