"Slimming down has made me feel so much happier and more confident. "
Start weight: 17st 13lb | Weight loss: 7st 2lb
Current weight: 10st 11b
Height: 5' 6" | Age: 40
Time taken to goal: 1 year 6 months
Studio: Ibstock, Leicestershire
WW Coach: Jo Wyld
Waking up one morning in December 2015, I felt an immediate sense of dread. The night before, I’d been to a Christmas party with my girlfriends and it had taken me weeks to find a suitable dress. As a size 20-22, I had to scour the rails in shop after shop before finding something in my size. Finally I found a long sparkly maxi dress in the only colour I ever wore – black.
Standing next to my slim, gorgeous friends that night, I was painfully aware of being the ‘big girl’ in the room, but I’d tried to put self-conscious feelings to the back of my mind and enjoy myself. However the next morning, as I scrolled through posts on Facebook, I burned with shame and embarrassment when I saw the party photos people had shared. I looked huge. The photos made me determined to never look like that at a Christmas party ever again.
My weight problem started around the age of 18, when I met my husband Matthew and my lifestyle changed. Rather than going clubbing with mates, we’d go out for meals together or spend cosy nights in. Gradually, I piled on stone after stone. Being overweight became normal for me, and for a long time I assumed my size was something I couldn’t change.
While it didn’t have an obvious affect on my health, my size did have an impact on Matthew and our kids Emma, 13, and Harry, 11. If they went for a walk together, I’d stay at home because I couldn’t keep up. And when we went on beach holidays, I’d cover up in trousers rather than go swimming with the kids. My social life suffered too. If friends invited me out, I’d make the effort to join them, but always felt very uneasy in my own skin.
I’d tried different weight-loss plans over the years, but when each one failed, I became more certain that nothing could help me lose weight. One particular diet I’d tried was so drastic and unhealthy, I became ill and suffered from hair loss. So, when I walked through the door of my first WW Workshop in January 2016, I was very sceptical that it would work. In fact, signing up to yet another plan, I actually felt depressed.
But then something clicked. I was stunned to find the plan didn’t make me feel deprived. I loved using the app and the fact I could track any food I liked. And if I fancied a treat, I could easily factor it into my weekly SmartPoints allowance. As the weight started to drop off, I began to feel more confident.
By the end of the year, I’d lost more than 5st. That Christmas, shopping for a party dress was a joy and I even did a little dance in the changing room when I fitted into a size 14. The lovely comments I received from friends when I arrived at that party made me quite emotional. I couldn’t believe how far I’d come.
This Christmas will be even better. I got to goal just after my 40th birthday in July this year, losing more than 7st. Slimming down has made me feel so much happier and more confident. This party season, I won’t be dreading social media – I’ll be posting plenty of photos myself!