It wasn’t until I lost weight that I started to appreciate quite how much being a size 22 had affected my life as a mother, a wife and as a nurse.

I put on weight during both my pregnancies, and although I managed to lose some for my wedding in 2004, after that I just seemed to get bigger and bigger. I'd get breathless playing with my children and I felt lethargic all the time. I also found it difficult getting into small spaces – very inconvenient for manoeuvring around the busy beside of an ill patient.

Slimming World and Food Optimising came into my life at the ideal moment, when I was starting to worry a lot about my health. My Consultant, Maxine, guided me on every step of my journey.

Now, instead of cooking with jars and packets, I make tasty chilli con carne from scratch, or pulled pork with home-made potato wedges. I've made great friends, too, and I look forward to spending time with my fantastic group each week.

For me, the best thing about Food Optimising is the choice – I love that nothing’s off-limits.

When I’m eating out, I’ll ask for a jacket potato instead of chips, and skip the butter. I know that I can have fun and stay on plan, which means I can eat this well forever.

I reached my target in 17 months and I’ve maintained my slim figure ever since. It’s not always easy, and if I’m ever struggling, I take myself to a clothes shop, look at all the lovely styles I can buy now and remind myself how far I’ve come. It’s so liberating to no longer feel self-conscious about my size. This is the fitter, healthier, happier me – and it’s the way I’m going to stay!

My get-slim scrapbook

Natasha lets us in on the highlights of her slimming journey:

  • My favourite tipple? I like the occasional glass of sherry at 3½ Syns for 50ml. Cheers!

  • Receiving my Diamond Member award was amazing. My Consultant has supported me every step of the way and is helping me stay at target, too. I’m incredibly grateful.

  • My wonderful family has been supportive right from the very start. As I cook for all of us, my kids are now more aware of what they eat and are making healthier choices.

  • I took part in a Parkrun with my kids and got hooked. I ran in a 5K race earlier this year and enjoyed every minute. I love knowing I’ll be fit at 50.

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