SHE was refused on a ride at Universal Studios for being overweight, but now this Hampshire mum is aiming at inspiring others after losing half of her body weight.

Erica Maggs is a massive Harry Potter fan and was excited to go on the themed ride at Universal Studios in America, but her dreams were shattered when she wasn’t allowed on the ride due to her weight.

The 47-year-old described the incident as humiliating and demoralising, but it gave her the determination she needed to transform her life.

The Whiteley resident went on a weight loss journey in August 2016, following a Cambridge Weight Plan diet, which saw her go from being over 22 stone to around 11 stone in 12 months.

She was also a finalist in Cambridge Weight Plans Slimmer of the Year 2017.

The mother-of-one said: “I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and to then be sat on the ride and get told to get off was awful.

“At that moment I wished the world would swallow me up.

“It was so demoralising.

“I had to get off in front of everyone to wait for my family.

“That was humiliating.

“I cried the whole time.”

Erica’s husband Hayden, 58, supported her journey, and has even lost 5 stone himself.

When talking about the support from him, Erica said: “He supported me through the highs and lows and it’s a long time to commit to something like that.

“You don’t notice things when you’re with someone all the time, but he would tell me that I look like a new woman.”

Erica began exercising in February 2017, and took on the Great South Run in October 2017.

She also competed in the Southampton Half Marathon last year, and has her sights set on competing in the New Forest Marathon later this year.

She is now looking to work with members of the public, in the aim of helping them make the transformation she made.

Erica currently works part time in an office at her house, but is planning to branch out and have her own office and work on the road."