A mum of three was so busy raising her children that she forgot to notice the pounds piling on.
Last year Ju Hone, 33, decided the time was right to tackle her 15 stone 10lbs weight.
A year and a half on she has become the proud winner of Slimming World’s Woman of the Year regional award.
“I have always been overweight since my first child was born,” said Ju, from Wittering.
“I have been a stay-at-home mum for 15 years and have not had time for myself.”
In January last year, when her husband Rick, a Sergeant with the Mechanical Transport unit at RAF Wittering, was poised to go to Afghanistan for four months, Ju decided she would surprise him and joined Slimming World classes at the Free Church, in Stamford, with the aim of dropping down to 10 stone.
Ju said: “He thought it was another one of my diets. And I didn’t tell him while he was away that I was getting on really well.”
Sgt Hone returned from Afghanistan to a wife who was two-and-a-half stone lighter.
“He was gobsmacked,” Ju said. “He had a really big grin on his face and was really pleased for me.
“After that I just carried on.”
Over the ensuing months Ju continued eating “sensibly” and avoiding the typical pitfalls by reminding herself how far she had come and encouraged by her kids Kobe, six, Bria, nine and Megan Dunstan, 15.
By August this year Ju had dropped from her original 15 stone 9 and 1/2 lb to 5 stone 9lb - losing third of her original weight.
She said: “Bria was my biggest cheerleader. The children were really pleased for me but I don’t think they have any concept of what it means for me.”
Surprisingly Ju says it was “not as difficult” as she thought it would be.
“The main thing is planning and sticking to the plans,” she said.
“I’m just very sensible about what I eat now. I still have all the good things but just have it within reason.”
As part of Slimming World, members also get ample support to keep going.
Her message to anyone who is facing the uphill task is: “It is tough at times, but it’s totally worth it.
“The self confidence it has given me is priceless.”