Two super-slimmer sisters have lost more than 8 stone between them, and all thanks to baby Lucas.

Karen Hughes, aged 39, of Arrow Cottages, Monkland Common, has slimmed from 12st 13lbs to 9st 9lbs and Catherine Oliveira, 33, of Queens Mews, Lyonshall, has lost five stones so far.

And the person who inspired them? Catherine’s baby son, Lucas.

Karen and Catherine joined Kington’s Slimming World class in 2018 after feeling unhappy about their size.

“We’d been aware of the need to lose some weight to feel fitter for some time and had joined on previous occasions but something always got in the way,” said Karen.

Then, in October 2017, Catherine fell pregnant with her third child and, while she was confident about the pregnancy, there were difficulties and her son, Lucas, was born at just 26 weeks.

“It was a life-changing time, not knowing if Lucas was going to survive, as he had all the complications you’d expect from a premature baby,” said Catherine.

“At one point we said goodbye to my lovely boy, not expecting him to live much longer.”

But Lucas fought through, eventually going home when he was 15 weeks old. 

Catherine said: “There have been scares since then, when we’ve had to rush back to hospital with breathing difficulties for example, but he has continued to thrive and we held a huge celebration party for his first birthday in March.”

“It put everything into perspective for us,” said Karen.

“That tiny bundle had fought like crazy to live, and for me as his aunt and for Cat it was like the brightest light bulb going on – losing weight to be healthy, to be fitter, to be around for Lucas for years to come, was obvious.

“All those things that had stopped us before just disappeared in an instant. We went back to Slimming World and we haven’t looked back.”

Karen, who down-sized from a dress size 16 to a 10, said: “I still eat all my favourite meals, like kebabs, curry and trifle. I just prepare and cook them differently now – and they taste so much better..

“I know it can feel like a big step joining a slimming group because you don’t know what to expect, but, right from the first moment you you are made to feel at ease, and the support has been amazing.”

Catherine lost 10lbs in her first two weeks and was blown away that the changes she’d made had such a big impact so quickly.

As the weight started to come off, she started to think about how active she was and she now loves being able to keep up with her children.

She also actively supports Hereford County Hospital’s special care baby unit and the charity Fisher House, which provided a safe place for the family to stay while he was so poorly.

The sisters have been named Kington Slimming World’s joint Woman of the Year.

“I feel like a different woman from the one 13 months ago, and winning the award with my sister is a real honour,” said Cat.

“My goal is to hit my target and stay there for life, which I know I can do.”

Helen Furnell, who runs the Kington group, said: “I’m so proud of Karen and Cat. They are fantastic ambassadors. They are a huge inspiration.”

The Kington group meets on Thursdays at 9.30am, 11.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm at the Burton Hotel. For details ring Helen on 07939 114452.