At my biggest I refused to go to any social occasions and even stopped taking my three children on family days out. When I was pregnant with my daughter, Annalise (who’s now a year old), I spent even more time at home.

I developed a pregnancy-related condition where the pelvic joints move out of alignment. The pain became so severe I needed crutches, and the only way I could get upstairs was on my hands and knees.

I’d put on more weight than I’d wanted to during my pregnancy and felt really unhealthy. I had so much on my plate, I told myself it wasn’t an ideal time to go to back to Slimming World (I’d previously been a member). Yet I knew I wasn’t being the mum I wanted to be to my children so I rejoined.

I started my days with a filling breakfast of porridge, using my Healthy Extra ‘b’, topped with chopped fresh fruit. Lunch would be a big mixed salad with skinless cooked chicken or hard-boiled eggs, then in the evening I’d make a meal we could enjoy as a family, such as a Slimming World curry or Diet cola chicken with Speed veg.

My fiancé, Steve, wanted to support me in any way he could, so he started following the plan with me. I’d been losing weight steadily for a month when we decided to set a date for our wedding – exactly a year away.

At that point I was a size 24. I went shopping for my wedding dress with my eldest daughter, Isabella, and found just what I’d been looking for: a stunning, ivory satin, strapless gown in a beautiful fitted shape with a drop waist. I asked to order it there and then… in a size 10.

As the weeks went by, the number on the scales went down – and they did for Steve, too. Most importantly, my happy, cheerful personality started to resurface. I began taking the children to the park and on day trips, feeling less and less self-conscious in public.

When I had my final wedding dress fitting, it was too big! All of my hard work had paid off. The staff at the shop announced they had never seen such an amazing transformation in a bride-to-be.

As I walked down the aisle on my wedding day, in my figure-hugging gown, I felt amazing. Nothing could match saying ‘I do’ to Steve, though. And while the cameras clicked, instead of shying away from them, I posed, smiling constantly.

There’s no doubt in my mind that going back to Slimming World was the best thing I ever did. As well as being fitter and healthier, enabling me to run around and play with my kids without getting out of breath, I’m much happier. I no longer hide away in the house.

Recently, something happened to bring tears of joy to my eyes. Jude said: ‘At last I can hug my mummy – I can put my arms around you.’ And it goes deeper than that... Before, I was hurting so much inside that I missed out on countless happy times with my family. Now I won’t miss another moment.

 

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