My mum told me about Slimming World. She’d dropped two dress sizes in just a few months and whenever I went to visit, she’d cook these amazing meals. Mum encouraged me to join – I was very overweight and she was concerned about the health implications, particularly as type 2 diabetes runs in our family. I didn’t take her advice.

When I was in the third year of university, I suffered my first serious bout of depression and my weight spiralled out of control. I had no enthusiasm for anything and rarely left my room.

Throughout my 20s, I got bigger and bigger. Despite forging a career I love, I had no confidence in myself or my abilities, and even less energy. My GP recommended group support so I decided to take Mum’s advice.

I was utterly terrified of stepping on the scales when I joined Slimming World. When my Consultant, Viv, told me the numbers, I was in shock. Then she pointed out I was there to do something about it and I’d never have to be that weight again.

Running plan 

I lost weight steadily and after hearing about the benefits of Body Magic, I decided it was time to start exercising. I’d knew that regular activity can be hugely beneficial if you’re prone to depression so I went on my first run. I had tears of happiness streaming down my face afterwards.

I’d heard about the NHS Couch to 5K plan, so I looked it up online and began following it. My fitness rapidly improved and I felt far more energetic throughout the day, too.

Although my weight loss slowed a little after those first few weeks, the numbers on the scales continued to go down – even after disaster struck and I suffered a serious knee injury. I carried on Food Optimising while I was recovering, though, and continued to do whatever activity I could manage. When I went back to group, I’d lost 12lbs.

I’ve got real stamina and endurance these days. I love to go for long walks around London and the surrounding countryside. I honestly can’t imagine my life without exercise.

New body, new look

When I started losing weight it felt like a whole new fashion adventure was unfolding. My body shape transformed from one month to the next, so I kept adapting and experimenting with different clothes and styles.

Now I’m slim, it’s like I’ve got access to a never-ending wardrobe, and I can finally immerse myself fully in my working world.

My mates have all been impressed with my weight loss – and nobody’s ever been anything other than supportive. One of my oldest friends actually walked past me in the street because he didn’t recognise me! Mum’s been my biggest inspiration for losing weight – and she’s supported me every step of the way.

In control

I find myself making healthier choices wherever I am. After all, the evening won’t actually be less enjoyable if I don’t have fries – I’m out with my friends and that’s what’s important.

I’ve been at target for nearly a year and I’m already forgetting what it felt like to be overweight. I’ve been handed the keys to a whole new world.

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