A BARROW mum embarked on an ambitious weight loss programme so she could fly to the USA to visit her daughter.

Janet Bilham, whose weight was 19st 7lb at its peak, was motivated to shed the pounds in order to travel across the Atlantic as her previous flying experience had been 'embarrassing'.

The mum-of-three said: “My daughter emigrated and I was desperate to go and see her but my previous air journey was embarrassing as I had to request a seat belt extension because I couldn’t fit into a normal one."

The 63-year-old had suffered from a series of illnesses and after undergoing two hip replacements in a year saw her weight balloon.

Determined to not allow her weight to cross the 20st mark, she said: “I had to do something about my weight as it had crept on for years.

"I have asthma and every time I had a cold I would be really ill.

"I had many hospital admission and two hip replacements in one year.”

Mrs Bilham gained four stone after her hip replacements and then made the decision to take control of her weight.

She joined the Barrow Weight Watchers workshop, run by Brooke Wallace, in March 2017 and has praised the close network and her family for their support.

“You can basically eat what you want," she said.

"I use the WW app for restaurant ideas and rollover points. I go to the workshop every week and take advice on what to eat from friends and my WW Coach.”

Two years on Mrs Bilham's weight has now dropped to 13st 10lb and she has shrunk from a size 24 to a size 16.

“I wish I'd had the courage to do it years ago," she said.

"With the help of my WW Coach and WW friends I have got there. I have dropped four dress size s and feel so proud of my achievement.

"I now walk everywhere where I would have got taxis before as I was too unfit and breathless. I am enjoying walking my dog and I hardly use my inhaler anymore."

Most importantly for Mrs Bilham, whose husband Paul has also now joined WW, she is set to jet off to the USA to visit her daughter.