A woman who suffered the heartache of having an ectopic pregnancy, a miscarriage and losing a baby son has vowed to make this her year.
Cheryl Charlton, of Sacriston, County Durham, was never one of the “pretty girls” and always spent her time in comfy baggy clothing to hide her size.
At university she gained weight, though managed to lose it after graduation but when she met her now husband, Ian, they spent night at calorific restaurants and eating takeaways causing Cheryl’s weight started to creep back up.
When the couple decided to a family, Cheryl was advised to lose weight and lower her BMI in order to conceive.
In 2013, Cheryl lost weight and became pregnant but sadly the pregnancy was ectopic.
Slimming World in March 2017 and lost 21lb by food optimising, with Ian losing two stone eating the same meals and training for the Great North Run.
“There is so much choice and I could still eat all my favourite foods like spaghetti bolognaise, jacket potatoes, even steak and chips, and still lose weight. It was brilliant,” she said. “I was determined not to ruin my best friend’s wedding photos, who was getting married in December – ‘Operation do not be a fat bridesmaid’ had commenced.”
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Cheryl believes that losing the weight helped her get pregnant again with her third son, Seb, who was born earlier this year.
“I took a break from plan simply because I had really bad sickness which lasted five months where I couldn’t stomach much and threw up anything I did eat. It was awful.
“My plan didn’t quite work out. I ended up being a very large eight month pregnant bridesmaid instead,” Cheryl said.
After the birth of Seb and having a difficult five years, Cheryl is making this her year.
She rejoined Slimming World and lost 4lbs in the first week and aims to lose four stone by Christmas.
“This is going to be MY year,” Cheryl said. “It took me a while to adjust to life with a new baby and a three and a half year old and finding time to prepare meals, but the turning point for me was buying a 12 week countdown in May. I was counting down to my holiday to Spain in August and wanted to be at least a stone and a half lighter.”
Within 12 weeks, Cheryl managed to lose 26lbs (1.8 stone).
“I was amazed at what I’d lost when I’d eaten so much, more than I did before,” she said. “I’d give myself mini targets along the way too, such as my son’s christening and I found that really kept me focused.”
She has also started ‘Operation do not be a fat bridesmaid’ round two before another best friend gets married in April.
“I have bought a dress that doesn’t fit yet,” she said. “I’ve changed my whole lifestyle and I’m determined not to return to work a size 18 again. I’m going to be one of the pretty girls.”
Chester-le-Street, on Wednesdays from October 31 at 5.30pm.
“I want to inspire others and help them achieve their goals because Slimming World has changed my life so much,” she said. “I make good choices, never feel hungry and can eat unlimited free foods. It really does work.”