I also became obsessed with weighing myself. It was on my mind morning, noon and night. By 23, I was a size 22 and this picture, taken at a friend's wedding, was one of the rare occasions I wore heels because all that weight on my feet was just unbearable.
Every invitation to a wedding or party left me in a state of panic. I began crash-dieting for every event, losing a few pounds here or a stone there.
In June 2012, my sister asked me to be her bridesmaid. Terrified of being scrutinised, I starved myself for three months and lost three stone so I could squeeze into a size 16 dress on the day.But every time I lost weight, I put it back on and more. It was a mistake I just didn't learn from.
After six months together, my boyfriend Karol had proposed and we planned to tie the knot in 2015. That gave us time to save money – and also gave me time to get my weight under control.
This time, no crash diet would do. I didn't want to feel 'OK' on the day –
I wanted to feel incredible. So I took my mum's advice and joined my local Slimming World group.
I made simple swaps, like low-calorie spray oil and fat-free crème fraiche. The recipes meant my diet was more varied and I looked forward to everything I ate. The difference was that this was sustainable. I wasn't miserable and I wasn't hungry.
In my first month I lost a stone and when Karol and I went to Malta last June, I'd lost five stone! For the first time since I was 17, I could wear a size 14.
When I went to try o n wedding dresses a few weeks later, I was like a kid in a sweetshop. I'd never thought I was someone who could dare to wear a fitted dress but now I slipped into the long, slinky, white gowns with ease.
Rather than worrying about what would fit me, my only problem was deciding which I loved the most!
Aside from the touch of glamour, my life was changing in many other ways. The painful sciatica that had plagued me for five years had gone and the doctor said my Polycystic ovary syndrome should have cleared up too.
And the biggest change? One day I was walking down the street and realised I wasn't worried that everyone was staring at me. I felt free.
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