AFTER losing nearly eight stone Claire Martin was given a new lease of life. But the weight crept back on again when she had her two children. She tells health reporter Kate Liptrot how she's turned it back around.
HAVING lost 7-and- a-half stones and slimmed from a size 24 to a size 12, Claire Martin said she had never felt more confident.
She loved her job as a consultant of a slimming club, had a new boyfriend Craig and was feeling content with life.
Claire, 31, a HR manager who lives in Woodthorpe, said: "Early on in my new relationship I found out I was pregnant with my first child.
"We were both over the moon and couldn't wait for him to arrive. People would tell me ‘eat what you like, it’ll all come straight back off when he gets here’. So ignoring my better judgment that’s exactly what I did. I ate anything I could get my hands on and had a massive craving for deep fried scampi and chips with lashings of mayonnaise.
"As you would expect the weight crept back on. ‘It doesn't matter’ I would tell myself. ‘I’ll lose it again as soon as he arrives’. But before I knew it I was 42 weeks pregnant and five-and-a-half stone heavier. "
The couple were elated by the birth of their son Seth but were exhausted by their role as new parents, in the early days surviving on takeaways.
Claire said she started to feel she wasn't herself and was eventually diagnosed with post natal depression.
"I was in denial and wouldn't accept it," she said, "Instead I just comforted myself with chocolate and other treats.
"I didn't want to leave the house anyway so why did it matter what I looked like?"
She gave up her role as a weight loss consultant as she felt she couldn't give the group the support it needed and after a few months started to realise she needed to do something about how she was feeling and what she was doing to herself for the sake of her son.
"I tried and tried to get back on track on my own and managed to lose almost three stone. Then I got some fantastic news. I was expecting my second child. I promised myself that I wouldn't do the same as before. It didn't happen and I managed to put the 3 stone back on. I felt like such a failure.
"Noel came along and my family was complete. It was time to focus on me again. I felt guilty at first. I thought that I should be focusing all of my energy on my boys. What I didn't realise is that they would be better off with a happier, healthier mum."
Claire said she knew she needed support and decided to re-join Slimming World.
"I've lost almost three-and-a-half stones so far and I am starting to feel like my old self again," Claire said, "So much so that I have caught the Slimming World bug and have decided to become a consultant again.
"I know I still have a little way to go and I was worried that people wouldn't take me seriously because I still have weight to lose. But I have come to realise, I am normal, I have struggled like so many other people, I have had my ups and downs but I am only human. And I am back on that journey to a happier, healthier me."
- Claire runs the the Woodthorpe Slimming World group on Mondays at 7pm at the Foxwood Community Centre - for more details please call Claire on 07870554667 or visit www.slimmingworld.com