There's a lot less to her than there was

ONE Ipswich slimmer won't be worried about slipping into her slinky black dress this Christmas Mother-of-two Marianna Labella-Croft, of Beechcroft Road, Ipswich, wowed her slimming classmates by shedding more than four stones in just under a year.

ONE Ipswich slimmer won't be worried about slipping into her slinky black dress this Christmas

Mother-of-two Marianna Labella-Croft, of Beechcroft Road, Ipswich, wowed her slimming classmates by shedding more than four stones in just under a year.

After gaining large amounts of weight during pregnancy she was determined to get the pounds off and ended up losing twice the amount she first intended.

Dropping from a size 18/20 to a 10, she has earned herself the title of St Thomas' Church Miss Slinky 2003.

She said: "After my youngest daughter, Ilyana, was born in August last year I weighed nearly 15 stone. I decided I wanted to lose two stones before her first birthday, but by the time it came around I had lost double that!"

Mrs Labella-Croft, 34, said her daughters, Ariana, three and Ilyana, 16 months, provided the motivation she needed: "I haven't always been big but I just ballooned during my pregnancies and I knew I had to lose it when I couldn't run round with the kids without getting out of breath."

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She puts her success down to a regular exercise routine combined with a sensible diet. She said: "I go to the gym twice a week but no more than that. I didn't want it to start taking over my life.

"The only thing that I don't eat now which I used to love is pizza - but I treated myself to one on the night I realised I'd lost four stones!"

She now eagerly awaits the result of the Miss Slinky 2003 national finals, in January, which could pocket her a cash prize of £1,000 -giving her a new wardrobe to go with her new figure.

With Christmas just around the corner research suggests that the whole nation is set to pile on the pounds.

But Mrs Labella-Croft believes the key to a healthy, happy Christmas is to relax: "I would advise people not to worry too much – go out and have a good Christmas. Don't feel as if you are restricted because that's when it becomes a problem.

"Little and often is the best policy, and don't beat yourself up about it if you do over-indulge."

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