Four years ago, my cousin Tracey sent me the hardest text message of her life – it was asking me if I wanted to join Slimming World. I’ve been overweight since I was a girl, and when I had children I gained even more and never lost it.

I developed a condition called idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), which causes fluid on the brain. The doctors told me that if I lost weight, it would help with the symptoms – I knew what I needed to do.

I’m not fond of the word ‘diet’ and past attempts to slim on my own had always failed. So the whole package of Food Optimising and group support has really changed my life. You can eat all your favourite foods – just changing the way you cook them, plus a little bit of what you fancy with Syns. And I’m never hungry!

The wok gets a lot of action in our house – whatever’s in the fridge, whether it’s chicken, bacon, veggies – I just wok it up!

As the weight dropped off, I found my confidence and motivation growing. I started going to the gym, swimming and playing football with friends. I have an exercise bike in my living room now, so I can do half an hour while I watch EastEnders. Last year I completed Slimming World does Race for Life by running 5K in 43 minutes and I was so proud of myself.

Losing weight has improved every area of my life – from home to my work. I’ve taken a job as a carer, which I’d never have been able to do before because it’s such an active role. I have more energy to run around after my children and do activities with them, my IIH has improved massively and the absolute highlight was walking down the aisle wearing a size 14 wedding dress.

I wouldn’t be where I am without the friendship and support I get in group, where I now help out on the Social Team. Other members say I inspire them – but they inspire me just as much. I feel I’m part of something life-changing.

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