Over the years, I gained 4st and felt really uncomfortable in myself and my appearance. I put on more weight with my pregnancy, then when Olivia was born the doctors told me that my heart was at greater risk because of my size.
My twin sister, Katy, had achieved fantastic results at a local Slimming World group, and I wanted that body confidence, too. Once Olivia and I were in a routine, I decided it was the right time to tackle my weight problem.
I was very nervous when I walked into group, but I was instantly put at ease – everyone was really welcoming and non-judgemental.
Before Slimming World, I couldn’t cook at all, not even an egg! Now, cooking is one of my favourite hobbies. I love to discover new recipes from the Slimming World recipe books and magazines.
For breakfast, I enjoy cereal and fruit, overnight oats or scrambled egg on wholemeal toast and lunch is usually salad, pasta or jacket potato, followed by fruit and fat-free yogurt. My favourite dinners include hunter's chicken (chicken, bacon and mushrooms in a tomato sauce) with potatoes and veg, Syn free pizza made using a wholemeal wrap topped with tomato purée, lean meats, vegetables and cheese, or tuna fishcakes, Slimming World chips and salad.
We really embrace Food Optimising as a family – Olivia and I plan our meals together and she loves helping me cook. It’s teaching Olivia about healthy eating, something I wish I’d known more about years ago.
As the weight came off, I joined a gym and started running, which I’d never have thought possible before. I’ve completed two half-marathons and this year I ran the London Marathon, raising over £20,000 for the British Heart Foundation. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
After 18 months, I was at my target with a weight loss of 4st – I felt fantastic. For the first time in years, I enjoyed going shopping and finding clothes that I would have never worn previously.
Since beginning my weight loss journey, my Slimming World-inspired Instagram account (@slimmingworldxgemx) has grown to over 130,000 followers! I still can’t believe it – my followers are all so inspiring and they keep me motivated everyday.
I’ve achieved so much in my life since joining Slimming World and it’s given me a very different, positive and confident outlook for the future.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.