Success Stories

I lost 4 stone and found my inner siren!

'Here’s how’
Published 15 December, 2015

Shift work and takeaways were the prime suspects when police officer Eileen piled on the pounds – and she hid the evidence behind baggy jeans and hoodies. But now she’s 4st lighter and ready to party...

Eileen, Age 33, Lost - 4st

Height: 5'10", Start weight: 16st 1lb ,
Current weight: 12st 1lb

My friends and I often set each other challenges to reach a certain number of steps per day. You’ll often find me walking around the kitchen as I wait for the kettle to boil!

I didn't realise how people saw me

A few years ago, I was working on patrol with the police and attended an incident where a member of the public spotted me at the scene. Later, he rang the station to ask if he could speak to me, as he was a potential witness. He didn’t have my name, so he left a description – ‘big lass with a pretty face’. When I saw it in the police log, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I was a size 16 and didn’t feel overweight, but was that how people really saw me?

The weight can creep on slowly

I love being a police officer. But when I was on nightshift patrol, I worked mostly with men who seemed able to eat anything they liked without piling on the pounds. Unsurprisingly, within the first six months of joining at the age of 19, I was up to a size 16. When I met Rob through work – he’s a police constable – we clicked immediately. My weight was never an issue for him and he proposed within six months. We both like to cook together and as I was so happy, I never thought about how my weight was creeping up.

Losing weight can help your body and mind

Although I was overweight, I was very confident and never had a problem socialising. But I knew I needed to slim down. As police officers, we are given riot training every two years, and it was exhausting – I passed but by the skin of my teeth. Clothes shopping would leave me feeling down too. I’ve always liked fashion and feeling glamorous but I’d search through rails of trendy clothes and they’d never have my size. 

A dress disaster was my turning point

In November 2011, Rob and I were getting ready to attend an annual police ball and I picked out a black dress that I loved. It was a size 16, but it wouldn’t zip up well. 20 minutes later as I was getting into the taxi, the zip broke and the dress ripped wide open. Devastated, I ran back into the house in tears. I ended up wearing a less flattering black dress and felt like a beached whale. 

Others can help inspire you

It was then that I remembered a friend on Facebook who had joined Weight Watchers and had been putting weekly updates on the site. In a year, she had lost more than 4st and I couldn’t believe the transformation. So, in January 2012, I joined a meeting in Ovenden, Halifax. 

Staying focused helped me succeed

When I stepped on the scales and saw my weight for the first time, I was surprised but not upset. It made me more determined than ever to lose the weight. I stuck to three proper meals and would treat myself each day. In that first week I lost 8lb. It’s a lot, because I’d changed the way I ate completely, and it was a great confidence boost. Within weeks I had lost 1st and I kept going. When Rob and I went to the police ball again, I wore the same dress that I’d burst out of, but I had to have it taken in at the dressmakers. I felt like a million dollars – I’d done it! 

Things that helped me on my journey

Calorie controlled cooking spray
To bulk out a Weight Watchers ready meal, I fry veg such as onions, mushrooms and peppers with cooking spray. It makes the meal feel more substantial and it always fills me up.

I post weekly updates about my weight to keep me on track. If I’m telling my friends what my weight is, I feel I’ve got to keep going.

​My friends and I often set each other challenges to reach a certain number of steps per day. You’ll often find me walking around the kitchen as I wait for the kettle to boil!​

Eileen was one of the success stories in Weight Watchers magazine. Want to appear in the magazine too? Upload your story here and email the mag team at to let them know it’s there!