Struggling through the designer shopping outlet with my bags, wincing from the pain of my knee, I had to pause for breath. I was starting to wonder if bargain hunting was worth the effort, when I looked up and noticed a woman staring at me through a shop window. She seemed so tired and worn – the ‘old’ woman looking back was me.

What had happened to me? In my 20s and 30s I’d been slim and confident, wearing all the latest trends and taking pride in the way I looked. As I trudged home, I vowed I would bring her back.

‘I’ve been in denial about my weight for too long.’ I told my daughter, Fiona. ‘Well, I’d like to lose my baby weight,’ she replied. ‘Why don’t we go to Slimming World together?’ I agreed to give it a try and from the moment we joined group, I was in my element. When Sue, my Consultant, explained the plan was all about cooking nutritious meals from scratch, it sounded really appealing. The only shock was my weight – at 14st 3½lb I was the heaviest I’d ever been.

As a mobile hairdresser, I’d tended to eat when I could between clients – often grabbing a sandwich from a petrol station. Now I was preparing my own healthy lunches to take with me, such as hearty salads or home-made soup in a flask.

In the evenings, I’d make a Slimming World spaghetti bolognese or chilli for my husband, Les, and me.

As I noticed my clothes getting looser, I started to replace my oversized cover-up tops with more fitted styles. The next time I went to the designer outlet, it was to buy a whole new wardrobe – not in size 16s and 18s like the year before, but in 10s and 12s. And I’m pleased to say my knee didn’t give me any trouble at all.

Walking into the church for my grandson’s christening, with hair and make-up done and wearing a size 10 fitted red dress, I couldn’t have felt further away from the woman in the shop window. Les had already told me how gorgeous he thought I looked and now, as friends and family showered me with compliments, I knew the glamorous me was back – for good.

 

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