Golden girl Hayley sheds 6st to be the mum she always wanted to be

  • Mum-of-two Hayley turned to comfort eating after having two miscarriages in two years
  • She was so unhappy about how she looked in her wedding dress that she didn’t want to book a photographer
  • Since losing more than 6st Hayley is ready for anything and is the active, happy and confident mum she always dreamed of being
  • She’s now been named Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2019

A mother-of-two who was so unhappy with the way she looked on her wedding day that she had to be convinced to book a photographer has shed an incredible 6st 5½lbs to become Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2019.

Hayley Cook, 30, eventually booked a photographer a few weeks before the wedding to capture pictures of her family and friends – yet didn’t have any photographs taken of her and husband Andy together.

Hayley, who was overjoyed to be given the prestigious Miss Slinky title in Slimming World’s 50th year, said: “Shortly after meeting Andy I fell pregnant. While it all happened very quickly, we were over the moon to be starting a family together. Sadly though, I went on to have a miscarriage. We then had another miscarriage the following year and I was in such a low place that I turned to food for comfort and my weight just went up and up.

“Later that year we got engaged and I turned my attention to planning the wedding. After buying my wedding dress and setting a date, I found out shortly afterwards that I was pregnant again. Although the due date was just a few months before the wedding we decided to go ahead with our plans – we were just so happy to be expecting again.

“In May 2016 we welcomed our beautiful daughter Kaycie into the world, and then we got married in July of the same year. I enjoyed my wedding day, but I hate the few pictures I have. I just felt so uncomfortable with my body. I’d struggled with my weight for years and I just couldn’t face the thought of posing for professional photographs. With a new baby and a lovely new husband I should have felt on top of the world, but my weight was always a big insecurity for me.”

The following year Hayley, from Didcot in Oxfordshire, found that she was expecting again, with Archie arriving in March 2018. She says: “During both pregnancies I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which meant I had to follow a strict diet and take medication to control it. With Archie it was even more severe, and I had to inject insulin daily. After he was born I was told that there’s a risk that women who have gestational diabetes will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes, although the chances were greatly reduced by eating healthily and exercising more.

Hayley Cook, Slimming World's Miss Slinky 2019
I enjoyed my wedding day, but I hate the few pictures I have. I just felt so uncomfortable with my body. 
Hayley Cook, Slimming World's Miss Slinky 2019

It was a bit of a wake-up call for me and at that moment I knew I had to start looking after myself properly. My weight was threatening my health and beginning to impact on my day-to-day life and that wasn’t the type of mum I wanted to be. It was getting to the stage where I didn’t want to go swimming because I felt so self-conscious in a swimsuit. We’d tried so hard to have a family and I wanted to make the most of every moment without worrying about my weight.

“I’d tried Slimming World before so I knew it worked, although this time my mindset was totally different and I was determined to make healthier changes not just for myself, but for my whole family. I was still surprised by how much I could actually eat though! As I was breastfeeding Archie at the time, my Consultant talked me through the best way to Food Optimise to make sure I got the extra nutrients and calcium I needed*.

“In the past I’ve tried every diet under the sun – from soups and shakes to juices and even surviving on just eggs and grapefruit! The brilliant thing about Slimming World was that the eating plan focussed on healthy, filling, everyday foods that the whole family can enjoy – like our version of a healthy pizza – so I never feel like I’m missing out and the support you get at group is second-to-none.”

Losing weight has also made Hayley think about how active she is and has unearthed a new passion for exercise. She says: “Before losing weight I used to think that I didn’t have time for exercise, but the truth was I just wasn’t very good at making myself a priority. These days I’m more active than I have ever been in my adult life. Last September I took part in Sweatember – which encouraged me to try loads of different activities from badminton and running to cycling and swimming. I raised lots of money for Cancer Research UK but aside from that I realised that being active made me feel good, and in turn that made me a better version of myself.

“I think sometimes mums can feel a bit guilty when it comes to taking time for themselves, but I actually think that hour of exercise, or taking the time to attend my Slimming World group is really good for me and my family. Everyone in my group is so supportive, and I always come away with new recipe ideas! My next goal is to compete in a mini triathlon, which is something I thought I’d never say. We’ve just welcomed a new puppy into the household too, so she keeps us busy and needs plenty of long walks. I just feel full of life now and can’t wait to enjoy making more fun memories with my family.”

Aside from her triathlon ambitions, Hayley has another goal she’d love to fulfil one day. She says: “I feel like such a different person now that I’d love to renew our wedding vows and get some photographs that I can look back on with happiness. I finally feel like the person I was always supposed to be and that’s an amazing feeling.”


Name: Hayley Cook

Age: 30

Height: 5’8”/1.72m

Starting weight: 16st 5½lbs/229½lbs/104kg

Current weight: 10st/140lbs/64kg

Weight loss: 6st 5½lbs/89½lbs/40kg

Starting dress size: 18

Current dress size: 10

Date joined Slimming World: 9th April 2018

Group: Hayley attends the Didcot group run by Consultant Laura Dix

Before menu

Breakfast: Nothing

Mid-morning: A cup of tea and biscuits

Lunch: A baguette or sausage roll with crisps and a chocolate bar

Mid-afternoon: A cup of tea and a slice of cake

Dinner: A takeaway or creamy macaroni cheese

Evening: A few bars of chocolate

After menu

Breakfast: Chopped fruit with fat-free yogurt or a cooked breakfast at the weekend with grilled low-fat sausages, lean bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and poached eggs

Mid-morning: Fruit

Lunch: A homemade omelette, ham and egg salad or baked beans on wholemeal toast

Mid-morning: Fat-free yogurt and a piece of fruit

Dinner: Slimming World burgers and homemade oven chips made with low-calorie cooking spray, homemade pizza or steak and chips

Evening: Hi-fibre cereal bar

In addition, you can view a video of Hayley talking about her weight loss here.


Hayley Cook, Slimming World's Miss Slinky 2019
The brilliant thing about Slimming World was that the eating plan focussed on healthy, filling, everyday foods that the whole family can enjoy
Hayley Cook, Slimming World's Miss Slinky 2019

For further information please contact Lucy Knighton in the Slimming World press office on 07770807740 or email lucy.knighton@slimmingworld.co.uk

Notes to editors

  • This story is NOT for syndication to any magazines without the consent of Hayley Cook and the Slimming World press office (details above).
  • Slimming World and Hayley Cook retain copyright of all images attached to this press release.
  • Slimming World’s Miss Slinky was open to all women who attend Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland. Group finalists were voted for by members of all Slimming World groups and Hayley was named the overall winner.
  • The Miss Slinky competition celebrates fabulous members who have slimmed down beautifully and achieved their weight-loss dreams. The male equivalent to Miss Slinky is Mr Sleek, the winner of which will be announced later this month.

About Slimming World

Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969 and is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. There are now more than 18,000 weekly groups supporting 900,000 members across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Groups are run by a network of 5,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques. Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people and recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating, encouraging and empowering members to make changes in a supportive, warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000. Follow Slimming World on Twitter at www.twitter.com/slimmingworld or become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/slimmingworld 

For the Press Office please email public.relations@slimmingworld.co.uk

*Slimming World is the only national weight-loss organisation to support women through their pregnancy and while breastfeeding. We’ve worked with the Royal College of Midwives to develop our policy for new mums and mums-to-be. You’ll find lots of information and expert advice about eating well, staying active and managing your weight at slimmingworld.co.uk/rcm