A SUPER slimmer from Basingstoke met an Olympic swimming star at the semi-final of a weight-loss competition.

Simone Heath made it to the final 44 in Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2014 after losing three stone and 8.5 pounds.

The 21-year-old mother-of-two was voted by her fellow members of Popley Slimming World to represent them in the competition, and she was invited to the semi-finals at the company’s head office in Alfreton.

It was here that she met Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington.

Simone joined the Popley group in January 2013, and said: “Having gained around two stone through my first pregnancy, at seven months into my second pregnancy I realised I needed help to manage my weight and eat healthily. With the support of my midwife I joined the Popley group with my sister.”

She added: “I was really nervous but everyone was friendly and helpful. It was much easier than I expected to start making healthy choices and I soon realised that I didn’t need to make drastic changes, just small things like swapping white bread for wholemeal and starting to cook healthy meals instead of buying junk food or just putting convenience food in the microwave made a big difference.”

Simone managed her weight throughout her pregnancy and since giving birth lost the 3st 8.5lb, going from 12st 7.5lb to 8st 13lb.

She said: “I now have two healthy children and I know I’m setting a great example to them so they’ll never have to struggle with their weight like I did.”

Hazel Eastman, who runs the Popley group, said: “Everyone is so proud of Simone. What she’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight. The changes Simone has made now have given her the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and new active habits that will stand her – and her children – in good stead for the rest of her life.

"Most of all it’s given her the self-belief and confidence to achieve her dreams, and hopefully meeting Rebecca has inspired her even more.”