I've always been fat, at least that's what my Mum says. I remember being big at school. When I was in the last year at the age of 16, my Mum had to buy me a ladies blazer as the authorised school blazer wasn't big enough. I also remember being a fussy eater and only liking certain foods. My Dad used to make me stay at the table until I'd eaten what was on my plate. I used to steal food from the cupboard and eat it secretly in my room.
Moving onto 1995 and I'd had my first child and decided I needed to lose weight. I joined Slimming World and lost 3 stone in a year - brilliant! Then I fell pregnant with my second child and had to start all over again.
I've always known I'm an emotional eater. When things are bad, or I'm upset, or I'm bored, out come the biscuits. And just like I did as a child, I would eat food in secret. Eventually in 2008 a couple of events made me want to stop. I went to the States for a wedding and bought a suit in a size 24. That was the biggest I'd ever been, and it felt just too big. Then I had a routine blood test and the doctor told me I had a fatty liver. The final straw was my Dad being diagnosed with diabetes. I knew I had to do something, I'd done it before, I could do it again.
So I started on a long journey to lose weight and get fit. I can't pretend it was easy, and every 6 months or so, I seemed to give up and up would go the weight again. By the beginning of 2018, I had managed to get down to 13 stone and a size 16. I had good blood pressure and no signs of ill health. Then I got talking to a counsellor about my sleeping habits and she suggested I did a well-being star. Through that I was diagnosed as having a binge eating disorder. I was devastated and ashamed. I underwent a series of counselling sessions, began a food journal and was introduced to Nutracheck via the NHS nutrition website. I confided in my husband about my habits - he had no idea and together, we worked on my secret habits and developed a much healthier lifestyle.
I'm now the slimmest I've ever been as an adult - 10 stone 7 and a size 12. Maintaining my weight is actually harder than losing it. What's hard is getting my family to understand that I'm not on a diet and that I'm choosing to eat healthily. I find now that too much stodgy food makes me feel a little ill and I will yearn for a lovely salad. I'm also still getting used to my new size. I catch myself in the mirror and can't believe it's me. I still pick up clothes in shops that are more suited to the old me and don't show off the new me. I bought my first dress in 16 years at Christmas and that felt really weird but great at the same time.
I shall always keep my Nutracheck App, as I know I will always have to stay vigilant but I'm determined I'll never be the size I was.
* Weight loss is individual and your personal rate of loss may vary from any case studies shown on this website.