I gave a sigh and steeled myself for the task ahead. Even though I’d done so many pedicures at my beauty salon, today it seemed like a real effort. With difficulty, I bent over and then felt the weight of my chest pull me down. I struggled to breathe and barely managed to complete the treatment. ‘I can’t do this any more,’ I thought.

Since having my second child, Jamie, I’d found being self-employed and looking after a family hard going. Exhausted, I’d given up cooking and relied on ready meals instead. Working in the beauty industry, I’d constantly be thinking about how I looked. I became less happy about what I saw on the outside and I knew my weight could be affecting me on the inside, too.

Often, when I was scrolling through Instagram, I’d see posts from Slimming World members who’d lost so much weight they were barely recognisable. Could I do the same? I wanted to find out, so I joined my local group.

When I learned about Healthy Extras, I realised just how much bread I’d been eating – slice after slice of bread and butter throughout the day. I decided it was a bit of a trigger food for me, so I switched to porridge for breakfast instead, which filled me up for longer.

I started cooking Slimming World versions of my fast-food favourites, like Cajun chicken with wedges baked using low-calorie cooking spray and lots of Speed veg. My husband, Rob, enjoyed the new recipes as much as I did, and I even impressed the family when they came to visit.

Soon, the scales started to move in the right direction.

Being a bit of a fitness fanatic, Rob helped me get started with Body Magic. After I’d lost 3st, I decided to join an outdoor boot camp and asked him to come for support. Together, we pulled tyres, did sprints, sit-ups, push-ups… Amazing when you think I couldn’t bend over to paint toenails just a few months earlier!

I realised how far I’d come when a client I hadn’t seen for a while thought I’d taken on a new member of staff and I had to convince her I was really me! Now I’m more than 7st slimmer and can spend the whole day on my feet, giving pedicures, massages and other treatments, without feeling exhausted. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I feel nothing but pride.

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