LIFE has turned around for a Letterston woman who has gone from unfit and overweight to running her own exercise classes, with the help of staff at Fishguard Leisure Centre.

Pembrokeshire County Council employee Tina Mathias took her first indoor cycling and aerobics sessions as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Few of her students would have realised it capped a meteoric transformation in her life.

Tina's first experience of spinning, or indoor cycling, wasn't great. She walked out of her first class barely ten seconds into it, vowing to go back when she was fit enough to do so.

When she returned twelve months later, the instructor didn't recognise her. Tina had overcome health scares and heartbreak to lose 12 stone.

"I spent most of my life overweight and gained more weight after my father died," she said.

"I was comfort eating; drinking upwards of three bottles of wine a night. It was getting out of hand."

A very close friend basically told Tina she needed to sort her life out. Three days later started her healthy lifestyle and she was on her path.

Tina met the challenge head on. She cut out alcohol, limited her calorie intake and began an exercise regime. Nothing could hold her back.

"Physically it was quite tough but mentally it wasn't," Tina added.

"I started spin classes in 2012 and loved it straight away. Then I tried other things such as circuits, weight training and with the encouragement of Jane Richards at Fishguard Leisure centre, I tried their Go-Tri triathlon series".

"I haven't looked back since."

From going to spin once or twice a week, it soon increased to six and became apparent she had what it takes to become an instructor and signed up for the exam which she sailed through.

"I just can't wait to teach more classes now," she said.

Pembrokeshire County Council leisure services officer Gary Nicholas believes Tina is an inspiration.

"I have little doubt that Tina will play a key role over the years to come," he said.

"Tina is the type of role model that we value at Pembrokeshire Leisure and we hope that she will be able to inspire others as she joins our team of dedicated instructors."