This is the seaside snap which spurred a Hounslow mum to slim down, shedding an impressive four-and-a-half stone.

Monika Toth, of Rossindel Road, Hounslow, was horrified to see her belly spilling out over her bikini bottoms

She decided to take action after seeing the photo, taken during a trip to Brighton two years ago, and being told by her brother she was getting too big to fit in his car.

The 26-year-old, who had never set foot in a gym before, tipped the scales at 13 stone before she joined The Gym, in Prince Regent Road, Hounslow, last year.

Ten months later, after changing her diet and working out six days a week under the guidance of personal trainer Juan Mueses, she is a trim 8 stone, 3lbs, as the photos below attest.

Monika, who moved to the UK from Slovakia eight years ago, said she had slowly piled on the pounds since the birth of her sons, David, now four, and Lucas, two.

Monika Toth lifts weights in the gym
 

She was initially intimidated by the idea of joining a gym but claims staff, including Juan, quickly put her at ease - not that he let her take it easy.

"Juan pushed me to my limits and definitely didn't tolerate any excuses which was just what I needed to get me into shape," she said.

"Like many women I thought  lifting weights would make me bigger but it's actually given me a leaner, toned and stronger physique."

Monika, who is setting up her own childcare business, says her svelte new look has also helped her cope with the demands of being a working mum.

"I'm the fittest and healthiest I've ever been and I intend to keep it that way, especially as it's given me the energy to run my own business and keep up with my two young boys," she said.

"My brother said 'you need to do something because otherwise you will be too big for my car'. That was horrible to hear but I thought 'I'll show you I can do it'.

"I hope what I did shows other women they can do it."

Monika Toth after slimming down