We were in a restaurant in Mexico when my daughter, Steph, was asked to step outside for a moment by her boyfriend, Lee. When they came back, Steph was glowing and there was a beautiful diamond ring on her finger. There were lots of hugs, tears and plenty of champagne! After the celebrating, the realisation set in – I was going to be the mother of the bride.

Over the years, I’d become more and more camera shy, rarely having my picture taken. I knew if I didn’t do something, I’d end up hiding from the photographer. Determined not to spoil Steph’s special day, I recruited two friends and we joined Slimming World together.

The Consultant explained how we’d be filling up on delicious, healthy meals to lose weight, and it made me realise that I’d developed some unhealthy eating habits. I’d skip breakfast and lunch – lasting all day on coffee. Once home, I’d be so ravenous I’d eat sandwich after sandwich, plus crisps, chocolates, ice cream and anything else I could find.

My group was full of great meal ideas and I couldn’t wait to get going. The next morning, I had overnight oats and fruit for breakfast. I snacked on pease pudding rolled in lean ham slices mid-morning, then for lunch I had a turkey salad with beetroot and pickled onions. In the evening, I put a big plateful of Food Optimising curry in front of my husband, Jim, and he couldn’t believe his luck!

The weight fell off pretty quickly and I started to feel like a new woman.

Jim used to tease me, calling me ‘the grey lady’ because I always wore nondescript clothing. To be honest, I felt rather ‘grey’ – like I was becoming invisible. Now, as my shape began to change, I was drawn to brighter colours and started wearing more youthful clothes. I had more of a zest for life, too – more so than when I was in my 30s!

In April, the big day arrived – Steph and Lee’s wedding. Standing next to my breathtakingly beautiful daughter, wearing a modern black and white dress, I felt completely at ease in front of the camera. And my favourite accessory? The huge grin on my face! 

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