I've struggled with my weight pretty much all my life and was plagued by low self-confidence through my teenage years. Things got worse when I left home – and discovered alcohol. It was a shock when I weighed myself one day and found I’d put on 2st.

I took what I thought would be the easy route: slimming tablets. My weight did drop, but after realising the pills weren’t doing me any good, I stopped taking them – and the weight piled back on.

Family future 

I was in my early 30s when I met my wonderful husband, Steve. On our wedding day, I wore a tight size-14 dress, and I hated the way I looked in every single photograph. Then the excitement of our beautiful daughter Mia’s birth was followed by two very difficult years when we went through the misery of three miscarriages.

By June 2014, when a friend told me about Slimming World, I was so tired and unhappy, I thought, ‘What have I got to lose?’

On my first night at group, I weighed in at 12st 5½lbs – and since then I’ve not looked back. The other members were all lovely, and our Consultant, Liz, was so supportive. When I suffered a further miscarriage, it was thanks to them that I managed to stay on plan; seeing the weight continuing to come off really helped me stay positive during such a tough time.

I reached my initial target of 10st and felt I wanted to lose a little more. I’m now 9st 7lbs and really happy. I exercise every day – either going out for a run or on my exercise bike – and as my energy levels have soared, so has my confidence.

In my 20s I’d gig three or four times a week with bands, singing and playing keyboard, and always covered up in baggy clothes. Recently, I sang on stage at an open mic night – wearing size-8 jeans!

My slimming scrapbook

Nikki reveals the tips and treats that make life at target so good:​

  • Before I lost weight, I buried myself under my long hair. After I got to target, I took the plunge and had it cut into a bob. I’m not hiding any more. Performing on stage is much more fun now I like how I look.

  • I love showing off my new shape in slim-fitting tops. I also make braver fashion choices: ripped jeans, little skirts – you name it, I’ll wear it.

  • I love to take a selfie with my fabulous daughter, Mia, and my wonderful husband, Steve. He loved me whatever my size – even when I didn’t. Everyone in the family has been very supportive, and I’ve even inspired my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to join Slimming World, too.

  • Treat-size chocolates are perfect when I want a sweet fix, like a 19.5g bag of Maltesers for 5 Syns.

  • I always buy pots of ready-prepared fruit from the supermarket to have as a Free snack – they’re so convenient.

  • On special occasions I do love a glass of Prosecco. Bubbly seems so indulgent for 4½ Syns per 125ml.

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