When I started working as an assistant registrar, I was in denial about my weight. As size 16s and 18s grew too tight, I'd blame mean clothing manufacturers, not the amount of fatty food I ate and the wine I washed it down with.
My weight affected my health, too. I was constantly out of breath, suffered heartburn after every meal, and felt far more exhausted than someone in their early 40s should.
One day, I received a thank-you note from a newlywed couple enclosing a picture taken during their ceremony. Although the focus of the photograph wasn't on me, I looked so big in the photo that I hardly recognised myself. I didn't know what to do.
My stepmother had joined Slimming World and convinced me to join, too. The plan was exactly what I needed – not a diet, just a common sense lifestyle change. I could still enjoy my favourite foods and a couple of glasses of wine, so I didn't feel deprived.
Within three months my heartburn had cleared up, the wheezing and perspiration were gone, and I’d lost 10 percent of my body weight to achieve my Club 10 award.
Over the next three years I lost weight slowly and steadily until I reached my target. While I was slimming down, it dawned on me that at work I'd kept myself in the background when I was overweight. Now, though, I had the confidence to train and gain the Certificate of Proficiency in the Law and Practice of Registration and became a qualified registrar.
While weddings, civil partnerships and birth registrations are a highlight, I'm also there when loved ones have died. Before losing weight, I don't think I'd have taken on the task of dealing with people at such a stressful time in their lives. Having tackled my weight issues, I've gained much more self-belief. I now feel I can offer professional support for the bad times as well as helping celebrate the good.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.