"I THOUGHT I'D NEVER WEAR A BIKINI AGAIN"
Alexandra Boanas, 34, a primary school teacher from Hull
HEIGHT 5FT 7IN
LOST: 2ST 12LB
"As an active young woman, I weighed around 10st in my 20s - until I found Mr Right and we moved in together.
I was happy and in love with my partner, Steve, now 42, so I enjoyed cooking us hearty meals. My weight then started to pile on.
When I fell pregnant in February 2014, I was 10st 10lb. I just ate buttered toast, crisps, chocolate and pizza. I put on 3st.
When I gave birth to Florence, I was 13st 10lb and a size 16 in maternity clothes.
Everyone said I'd naturally lose a stone afterwards, but I didn't. One day in January last year, I caught sight of myself in underwear. Instead of the toned tummy I'd had for years, mine looked like jelly.
So I decided to join Slimming World, weighing in at 12st 10lb.
I set my target as 9st 12lb, and in my second week I lost 4lb. By August 2015, I'd hit my target and my consultant Joan and the other group members said I looked fantastic.
And I still eat full English breakfasts and platefuls of pasta and jacket potatoes!
After having a baby, I thought I'd never wear a bikini again. But I've got a better body now than I did before.
Last year, I went on holiday with Steve and our daughter and, for the first time in years, I donned my size 8 bikini and I didn't give it a second thought!
Slimming World has not only given me my confidence back, it's given me a new life."
"ON HOLIDAY, I COVERED UP IN FLOATY CLOTHES"
Anna Tregear, 38, a care worker from Selsey, West Sussex
HEIGHT 5FT 7IN
"My meals had always been quite healthy, but I just couldn't resist biscuits and chocolate.
When I married Rick, now 35, in 2010, I starved myself to fit into a size 12 dress, and weighed 11st 7lb. But afterwards, I went back to my old ways.
A few months later, after falling pregnant, my weight rocketed. I used being a mum-to-be as an excuse to pig out. By the time Abigail was born in May 2011, I weighed around 17st and was a snug size 18.
Six months later, when I was still more than 15st, I was forced to ask myself, 'What's your excuse now?'
On holiday in 2014, I covered up in floaty clothes. But when I saw photos of myself on the beach, it all became clear. Although I was smiling, I was desperately unhappy.
I joined Slimming World in January 2015, and felt so welcome. Weighing 15st 2lb, my target was to lose 5st. After two weeks, I'd already lost 7lb and felt amazing. I realised I could still eat biscuits, chocolate or a glass of wine – just in moderation. Now, I make Slimming World chicken curry and exercise more.
By July, I'd hit my target. My jeans are a size 10 and I'm happy at 10st 2lb. Even better, I feel fantastic in a bikini. I never imagined I'd say that!
Losing weight has done wonders for my confidence. I used to want to blend into the background, now I take pride in my appearance - after all, I've worked so hard to get here!"
"I LOVE MY STRETCH MARKS"
Jodie Rigby-Mee, 31, a Slimming World consultant from Leamington Spa, Warks
HEIGHT 5FT 7N
LOST: 6ST 2LB
"From my early teens, my weight steadily increased. At college, I'd start the day with a big bowl of cereal followed by a mid-morning sausage roll. Lunch was a sandwich with crisps followed by a chocolate bar – all washed down with a fizzy drink.
We'd go out for burgers, and I'd drink alcohol three nights a week.
My bad habits meant that, by theageof18,Iwasasize20and weighed 16st 7lb.
That summer, in 2003, I went on a girls' holiday. Wearing a bikini was my worst nightmare, so I wrapped up in a towel or hid behind layers and a black cardi.
When I overheard a group of lads referring to me as 'the fat one', it felt like I'd been hit with a sledgehammer.
I decided to join Slimming World as soon as I got back. In the first week I lost 5lb and, for the first time, I felt proud of myself.
By the time I was 19, I'd hit my target of 10st 10lb, after losing nearly 6st in 18 months. Switching to wholemeal bread and healthier fillings meant I could still enjoy my beloved sandwiches and lose
weight. It was perfect.
I've maintained my target weight over the years. Although I put on 3st when I was pregnant with Jenson, now two, I lost it eight months after he was born in July 2013.
Now I'm 10st 5lb, and a size 10. What's more, I love bikini shopping. I don't feel the need to cover up any more.
I've even come to love my stretch marks – they're a reminder of how far I've come..."
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