My 17-year-old daughter, Amy, walked into the room looking stricken and my heart thumped at what she might be about to tell me. ‘Mum, I’m so scared that if you don’t lose weight I might lose you,’ she said. ‘That you won’t be here to give me advice or even see me married…’  Seeing the look on her face, it was as if something finally clicked. ‘I promise you, after Christmas, I’ll join Slimming World and get rid of this weight for good.’

I’d been steadily gaining pounds for so many years that I almost hadn’t noticed. It had started with my pregnancy with my eldest daughter, Cerys. I’d suffered post-natal depression and had got into the habit of eating crisps whenever I felt low. Then, when Amy came along, again I found it hard to shift the extra weight and eventually gave up trying.

I knew my heath was suffering, and my self-esteem was at rock bottom. I kept these thoughts to myself during my first night at group. My Consultant, Helen, explained how Food Optimising worked and I was determined to start immediately. It had been a while since I weighed myself, so when I saw the figure flash up, I was in shock – I was 1lb under 20st.

The first thing I did after group was to sit down with my husband, Shane, and the girls and explain how our meals were going to change – for the better!

My family were so supportive, taking an interest in my progress and enjoying my on-plan lasagnes, casseroles and roasts.

When we ate out together, they were happy to choose somewhere I knew I could stay on plan. Each week at group, the members’ enthusiasm buoyed me up and they gave me loads of delicious recipes to try.

As the weight fell away, it was as if the years fell away, too. I started to get a spring in my step and felt ready to ramp up the exercise. I’d been taking walks since I’d joined group, and I slowly built up to jogging longer and longer distances. Amy and I took part in a Race for Life obstacle course and I loved it so much, I’m running this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon.

I hit my target weight on my birthday! Having lost 8st 9½lbs, I bounded home and told Amy, ‘I’ve done it!’ She gave me a massive hug and said: ‘I’m so proud of you, Mum.’ And, in that moment, I realised something: I finally felt proud of me, too.

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