Before my daughter Jasmine came along, I was around a size 14-16 and fairly content with the way I looked. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy and, after developing sciatica, spent the final month feeling huge, with no energy for anything other than eating.

I’d hoped the pounds would drop off once I started breastfeeding. It turned out, though, that any natural losses were offset by my appetite for biscuits and pizza. By the time Jasmine was three months old I was over 15st and, more than once, people assumed I hadn’t given birth yet. I made the decision to join Slimming World.

A new me

I bought loads of lean meats and fresh fruit and veg to give myself the best possible weight loss. It worked! I lost nearly 3½st and was getting close to my goal, then my mum passed away. Although I was devastated, I knew Mum had been so proud of my progress and I decided that I wouldn’t give up. The following Christmas, I was at target and the proud holder of my group’s Miss Slinky title.

It’s almost impossible to describe how good it feels to be slim. I’m so much more active, having gone from barely exercising to falling in love with running.

Being fit has boosted my self-esteem so much that when my dream job was advertised at my local hospital, I was determined to get it – and I did! My new confidence has helped my love life, too. When I met Lewis, I was the one who suggested we go out. Now we’re living together.

Food Optimising will be a part of my life forever. I’m not on a ‘diet’ – I’ve simply adopted a healthy lifestyle, and I can’t imagine eating any other way. The way I see it, you only get one chance at life, so you need to treat yourself well right now!

How I’m making weight loss last

  • I do put on a couple of pounds now and then. I know I don’t have to worry, though – I draw a line under it, refocus and the weight soon comes off again.

  • I’ve found my inner motivation. Knowing that my choices set an example to my daughter makes it much easier for me to resist temptation.

*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.