A WOMAN who has battled against the bulge for 18 years is now looking forward to her dream holiday after losing more than a stone in five weeks.

Lesley Hothersall, 37, from Nelson, has lost 1st 5lbs since she was whisked off to GMTV's "Inch Loss Island" last month and will have a final weigh-in next Wednesday.

Lesley, who is 5ft 3in, used to weigh 15st 7lbs and was size 22, said she used to eat about 137g of fat a day but has managed to cut this down to just 40g.

The mother of two was chosen from thousands of people to spend six days fighting the flab on Devon's famous Bear Island.

She said she had suffered with her weight since giving birth to her son Michael 18 years ago.

Lesley, who also has a daughter, Hayley, 15, said she put on five stone after Michael was born and found it difficult to cope being a single parent so she started to comfort eat. She piled on the pounds and was sick of listening to people's cruel jokes. Today she said she was now looking forward to her family holiday to the Dominican Republic in September.

She said: "I have come back from the island a different person. I have completely changed the way I eat and exercise. I am going to be able to go on holiday without worrying about that seatbelt. It felt lovely to be able to buy a coat that was a large instead of an extra large. I didn't feel drab anymore.

"And it's rubbed off on the whole family. Instead of the shopping taking us half an hour it now takes us two hours because we are constantly looking at what we are eating."