Don’t work for an airline if you like predictability and routine, is my advice! After more than 10 years, travelling to different places (pre-pandemic, of course) at short notice still excites me, though. It’s a great job – and depending on the flight schedule, cabin crew sometimes get to stay over for a couple of nights in the resorts, too. And now I’m slim, I’m enjoying work more than ever.

When I first applied for the job, I was seduced by the idea of free holidays and glamorous women! Over the years, though, my jet-set lifestyle meant my uniform got tighter and tighter.

I just didn’t feel right at more than 14st and I tried some silly diets – I once got down to 11st 7lbs by eating just one meal a day!

When I started dating my wife, Nicola – who’s also long-haul cabin crew – I soon regained it all. Sustaining a romance with someone likely to be on the other side of the planet half the week was difficult. Occasionally, we had the chance to stay abroad together overnight, but we were more likely to snatch a quick hello in the car park at Manchester airport.

I lost 1st 7lbs for my wedding to Nicola, but it was torture and I gained back every pound lightning-fast. I was sure there had to be a better way. Nicola had enjoyed success with Slimming World and, with her support, I decided to go along.

After my first week, I wasn’t expecting to get a good result as I’d been eating so much food on the plan. I actually lost 5½lbs!

I told myself this was going to be a complete lifestyle reboot, and that meant sticking with Food Optimising 100%.

If I felt tempted by high Syn hotel food, I’d think about the next half-stone award that was within reach, and that usually did the trick. Keeping to the plan was much easier than I’d expected, though – I found I genuinely preferred fresh-tasting salads and grilled meat and fish to the fatty foods I’d been eating before.

As time went by and the weight came off, I found it so much easier to wheel heavy trolleys up and down the aisles at work, and to open and close the overhead lockers. Soon, I realised it was because my trousers and collar weren’t so tight. And by the time I reached my 11st target, I’d dropped two whole uniform sizes!

My stay-on-track tips for jet-setters!​

  • I’ll pack up a low Syn meal to have on the plane, and I also take cans of tuna in spring water (Free) or low Syn instant pasta pots to snack on.

  • If I can’t make my usual group because of my shifts, I’ll go to another Slimming World group that’s more convenient.