"The air hostess thought I was pregnant"
Jade Thompson, 19, from Gloucestershire, lost 2st
"All my friends are really slim and, at 5ft 4in and a size 10, I always fitted in with them – until I met my boyfriend, Ryan, in July 2010. Suddenly, I was going out for meals more or staying in for a curry. As my portions crept up, so did my weight.
"It sounds silly but I honestly never noticed. Yes, I started wearing baggier clothes but loose tops were fashionable.
"When Ryan and I went on holiday to Turkey last year, I didn't give a second thought to stripping down to my swimsuit. But while we were checking our suitcases in on the way home, the lady at the desk asked if I wanted extra room. 'Why?' I asked, confused.
"'You know, with being pregnant. You might need more space for the baby,' she replied.
"I was devastated. I wasn't pregnant, just… big. I spent the flight flicking through our holiday snaps, asking Ryan if I really had a 'baby bump'. But although he told me I looked gorgeous, I couldn't believe him.
"Arriving home, I weighed myself – I was 11st and barely squeezing into size 14 trousers. I joined a gym and started various diets but nothing worked. Finally, Mum told me about a friend who'd recently become a consultant for the Cambridge Weight Plan.
It seemed so simple, swapping my breakfast for a shake, my lunch for a bar, then having a calorie-controlled dinner. I was terrified I'd be hungry but instead, I was completely stuffed. After three months, I was down to 9st and a size 8. And when I went to Ayia Napa with a friend last month, her mouth fell open. 'You look amazing,' she gasped.
"And thankfully, with my newly-toned tum, no-one thought I was having a baby on this holiday!"
For more information visit cambridgeweightplan.com
"I barely recognise myself in the mirror"
Julia Stephenson, 24, from Leicestershire, lost 4st
"Looking back, leaving home was my downfall where my weight was concerned. Mum had cooked healthy meals every night and at 5ft 11in, I was a perfectly healthy size 12.
"But aged 17, I found myself in charge of my own meals and I quickly became reliant on takeaways and ready meals.
"The weight crept on so gradually, I thought it was just my body changing shape. But by February 2012 I was a size 16 and hardly recognised myself in the mirror.
"Seeing how unhappy I was, Mum suggested we join a Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Club together.
"Having avoided scales for years, I couldn't believe I was 13st 8lbs - but the instructor was so encouraging, I felt sure I could do it.
"I followed the plan religiously, cutting down on sugary snacks and learning to cook low-fat meals, but it was still a shock to discover I'd lost nearly 7lbs after just one week and could fit into a pair of trousers I couldn't even get past my hips before.
"After a month, I'd lost a stone and within three, I was down 2st 5lbs. I'd never exercised before but now I was going to Zumba classes and exercising twice a week.
"The weight kept coming off. Finally, I hit 9st 11lbs and a size 8. Now, I still can't believe it when I look in the mirror – but for completely different reasons!"
For more information visit rosemaryconley.com
"I've bought my first bikini"
Charlotte Easton, 21, from South Yorkshire, lost 5st 10lbs
"Pulling down my dress for what felt like the millionth time, I sighed. It was New Year's Eve 2010 and I'd splashed out on a bodycon dress but, if I was being honest, it was the wrong decision for my shapely size 18 figure.
"I'd always thought I was just built differently from my slimmer friends, but tonight I suddenly felt really down.
"I loved snacking on crisps and chocolate and never cooked anything fresh. It was, I realised, time for a change.
"After all, I'd just booked a holiday to Lanzarote with my partner Matthew for June. I wanted to be buff, not a beached whale.
"So I joined Slimming World with my mum. I was 16st 6lbs – far too big for my 5ft 11in frame. But instead of feeling daunted, I was excited. This was it – I was going to lose weight.
"Mum had been to Slimming World before and said it was easy to follow. She was right. I'd have Weetabix for breakfast and jacket potatoes or chicken salads for lunch and dinner.
"In my first week, I lost 6½lb. It was the inspiration I needed to keep going.
"By the time I went on holiday, I was down to 11st 13lbs and treated myself to my first-ever bikini – before I'd always worn swimsuits.
"Even falling pregnant when we got back off holiday wasn't enough to make me fall off the wagon. As soon as I gave birth in April 2012, I returned to Slimming World and by October, I weighed in at 10st 10lbs. I'd lost 5st 10lbs in total and was a svelte size 10.
"So not only do I look good in a bikini, but I can be a healthy mum to Heidi and that's the best reward I can ask for."
To find your nearest Slimming World group visit slimmingworld.com or call 0844 897 8000
By Georgina Horton and Sarah Whiteley