At her heaviest, Liz weighed more than 14st and found her weight affecting both her work and overall health. She says: ‘I’d feel like a sweaty, exhausted mess by the end of every shift. I had high blood pressure and palpitations, and I felt more like a 56-year-old than a 26-year-old.
‘Also, I was expected as part of my job to advise new mums about nutrition. Nobody ever asked why someone my size felt she was entitled to talk to them about healthy eating – they were too polite. Even so, I felt like the biggest hypocrite in Liverpool.
‘I wasn’t a comfort eater, just a disorganised one – with 40 hours a week spent at the hospital and another two days in my admin job, I thought I didn’t have time to cook. Inevitably, I would just grab something high in fat and low in freshness.’
Liz decided to join Slimming World and in 2013 she won the national ‘Miss Slinky’ award after losing more than 5st in eight months. She married her husband Fran wearing a size 8-10 dress.
‘As I started losing weight steadily, my confidence increased. I lost 2st in my first two months, then settled into a healthy pattern of 1-2lbs a week. For me, it’s all about having a quick solution for when I’m hungry: if I’ve got a hearty meal with me I don’t get tempted by ready meals, sandwich bars or takeaways.
‘Once I’d lost the weight, it was no problem dashing around the ward or to the operating theatre for a potential emergency, where when I was bigger I’d be out of breath and have a mad scramble to find scrubs big enough to fit.
‘Since then I’ve qualified as a midwife at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and had two beautiful babies of my own. While I've gained a little weight since I got married – I'm now 11st – I'm happy, healthy and enjoy being active day-to-day. It feels amazing to be setting a healthy example to my children. I was so glad to be a healthy weight when carrying my babies. It’s great to be able to talk to mums about their weight with a real understanding and empathy of what it’s like to be overweight and how fantastic it feels to lose weight. I tell them if I can do it, anyone can!’
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.