AN inspirational Crewe slimmer is half the woman she used to be - after shedding an incredible nine stone.

Katie Parkin, of Weston, lost half her bodyweight after joining Rosemary Conley’s online slimming club.

She was named slimmer of the year in the TV exercise guru’s national fitness magazine.

25-year old Katie, who used to weigh 18st and wear a dress size 20, now weighs 9st and wears a dress size 10.

She received her award, along with £1,000, from Rosemary Conley at a ceremony in London on January 3.

As a child, Katie’s weight was kept in check by ballroom dancing competitions.

After joining the RAF at 17, a grueling fitness regime meant she could fill up on fattening food without putting on an ounce.

But when Katie left the forces, she began to pile on the pounds.

“For 18 months I’d had it drilled into me that I needed to eat as much food as I could to keep my energy levels up and I was still doing that despite doing no exercise,” she explained.

It took an embarrassing incident at a Christmas ball, when the seam of her gown burst open, for Katie to do something about, her burgeoning weight.

In July 2010, Katie’s father passed away. Her family was devastated and Katie learned that her father had confessed to her husband, Mark, that he was worried about his daughter’s weight, her 40-a-day smoking habit and her debts.

“I wanted to make my dad proud, so I started a lifestyle change,” said Katie, who quit smoking, reached her target weight and changed her spending habits.

“Knowing I’ve lost 9st and am almost out of debt makes me proud of myself. I know my dad would have been too,” she said.