SUPER slimmer Sam lost more than 10 per cent of her body fat and gained £5,000 when she came runner-up in a national fitness competition.

Samantha Cushen, 28, of Williams Crescent, Barry, came second in the Herbalife Level 10 competition in the most difficult category - one that measures not how much weight is lost but rather how much body fat is dropped.

With the help of coach Sarah Thornhill of Barry's Cardio Core gym, Sarah lost 10.9 percent of her body fat in 12 weeks to win the Cardiff and South Wales regional heats before placing as runner up at the UK wide finals - held at Wembley Arena.

Support worker Samantha said that she was inspired to get fit after she returned from a holiday in Mexico and saw photographs of herself.

"I was miserable," she said. "All the the other girls were dancing in their bikinis and I was there with my cocktail, standing by the bar."

With the help of her coach, a shake based diet and frequent gym visits, Samantha dropped the weight and body fat.

Winning the prize for her achievements was a bonus, she said.

"I was speechless, just overwhelmed," she added. "I couldn't believe it, I'm still absolutely buzzing now."

Sarah Thornhill said: "We were really impressed by how well she had done," she said. "In Level 10 she was against some really stiff competition.

"It's nice to see customers doing well so for her to absolutely smash it out of the park the way she has is really unbelievable."

The Level 10 challenge begins again soon and anyone interested in taking part in the competition or in free fitness camps at Cardio Core can contact Sarah on 07943825499.