"Over time, I learned how to change the way I ate – making both small tweaks and big adjustments. "
Weight loss: 10st
Studio: Cricklewood, London
Wellness Coach: Hilary Mandel-Dallal
My relationship with food became unhealthy when I was just 11. Around that time I started to develop curves – much earlier than other girls at school – which made me a target for bullying. To help me cope, I turned to food for comfort. Unhealthy habits became so ingrained that by the time I was at uni, I snacked on chocolate bars, ate pizza and garlic bread every night and ended my evenings devouring a bag of chocolate buttons.
Asking for help
Then one night I had a horrific nightmare. I woke up feeling petrified that the dream could come true and that I was a bad person. I felt control slipping away from me and desperately needed a way to regain a sense of authority over myself, and my behaviour. A few months later I read a newspaper article about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that changed everything. I thought, ‘That’s me!’ Being able to name my condition was such a relief and meant I could ask for help. With antidepressants and therapy, I was gradually able to manage my condition.
Making healthier choices
By the start of the following year I had a dream job and life seemed to be falling into place. I felt happier, but I realised it was time to get physically healthier too. That summer I walked into a nearby WW Workshop and stood on the scales. I weighed 20st 11lb. My relationship with food had been dysfunctional for so many years that I had no idea what healthy eating even looked like. I needed support, and that’s where WW came in. Over time, I learned how to change the way I ate – making both small tweaks and big adjustments. After losing 7st, I joined a gym and got into spin classes and running.
Back in love with food
Joining WW was a complete re-education about food. But what’s kept me moving forward is knowing that no food is off limits. I still enjoy treats like a meal out, or brownies, but now I save my SmartPoints for them. I’m in control.