" I can wear whatever I like, and if there’s ever a party to go to, I’m there! "
Start weight: 15st 2lb | Weight loss: 4st 10lb
Current weight: 11st 4lb
Height: 5' 4" | Age: 36
Time taken to goal: 10 months
Studio: Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire
Wellness Coach: Lisa Davies
Covering up in a baggy black cardigan on Christmas Day 2011, and avoiding the camera, I was feeling anything but festive. As a mum to my daughter Bronte and new baby Baxter, I should have been enjoying Christmas with my beautiful children, but instead I felt utterly miserable.
I’d been shocked by recent photos of myself and felt painfully embarrassed about how overweight I was. That Christmas, I didn’t even want to be photographed next to my lovely husband, John-Paul, as I felt I was somehow letting him down. But I didn’t know what to do about it.
I’d given birth to our son Baxter five months earlier and was still carrying the 4st I’d gained during my pregnancy. I felt ashamed about wearing a size 18-20 and would carry Baxter in a baby sling on my chest in an attempt to hide my body. That year, invitations to festive drinks and meals were all turned down – I used my new baby as an excuse to hide away at home. When my mum came over on Christmas Day, I found the answer I needed. She’d lost more than a stone and looked amazing.
When I asked how she’d done it, she told me she’d joined WW. That was my lightbulb moment. I asked to join her, and although she suggested I wait until after Christmas, I wanted to sign up immediately.
On New Year’s Eve, I walked into my first meeting feeling anxious about what I’d see on the scales. When I realised my weight had crept up beyond 15st, I felt my lip wobble and thought I might break down in tears. But my Wellness Coach, Lisa, was encouraging and that night I went home feeling hopeful and inspired.
After joining WW one of the biggest lifestyle changes I made was developing new skills in the kitchen. I used to only cook three things in rotation – spag bol, tuna bake and chilli. Now I love discovering new recipes and ingredients. I became much more active too. I’m no gym bunny, but I started walking Bronte to school and taking Baxter for long strolls in his pram.
The weight came off steadily during the first six months, then slowed down. But helping out at my Wellness Workshop kept me motivated, and knowing I had to be there each week always got me off the sofa. I even decided to train to become a Wellness Coach myself. By the time my birthday came around that October, I’d reached my goal weight, was wearing a size 10 and started coaching six weekly Wellness Workshops. I was over the moon.
Losing weight changed my world completely. I maintained my goal weight for three years, but when I gave up smoking, I regained some weight. Now, I’m healthier for it and know I can get back on track with just a little determination. As for Christmas, it’s become one of my favourite times of the year. I’m more confident, I can wear whatever I like, and if there’s ever a party to go to, I’m there!