A Derbyshire mum feels proud to be setting her young daughter a healthy example to follow after transforming her eating habits to lose weight.
Hannah James, who lives in Alfreton, used to snack on doughnuts, sweets and family-sized bags of crisps.
The 36-year-old started to become unhappy with her weight as she reached her heaviest of 11st 8lbs.
But after getting the motivation needed, the mum-of-one made big changes to her diet, and has since lost more than two stone.
Hannah, who lives with her husband AJ and one-year-old daughter Nola, looked back on the problems she encountered while struggling with her weight.
She said: “I’d been slim at university, but in the decade that followed my weight crept up.
“Whenever I noticed I’d gone up a dress size, such as when I’d been shopping for something fitted to wear for a special occasion, I’d try slimming milkshakes or fad diets. Of course, the weight never stayed off for long.
“In 2014, aged 29, I went into hospital for a minor operation. Recovering at home and looking at photos of a recent family holiday, I was horrified to see an unflattering one of me in a white stripy top.”
Using the unflattering photo as her inspiration, Hannah decided to join her local Slimming World group in Swanwick.
She has since slimmed down to 9st 7lbs thanks to a combination of changing her diet and taking up more exercise like jogging.
Hannah, who is 5ft 4ins tall, said: “The game changer for me was taking a packed lunch into work. This could have been leftovers from the night before, or a couscous salad with hard-boiled eggs, tomato, pepper and cucumber.
“I was surprised at how quickly the pounds came off and after a month, my confidence was boosted.
“I’d go for a jog at lunchtime and not only was it getting me fitter, it distracted me from snacking through my break.”
Hannah maintained her weight loss for four years before giving birth to her daughter, Nola, in 2019.
Despite being able to maintain a healthy diet throughout her pregnancy, she says sleepless nights after birth led to her back to old habits, including snacking on chocolate bars.
Hannah, who works at Slimming World’s Alfreton head office as an IT project manager, said: “I carried on as best I could, filling up on pasta dishes and jacket potatoes in that queasy first trimester.
“Luckily, in my second trimester my love of salad and veg returned, giving me a lot more energy and making my meals much more balanced and exciting.
“I made healthy choices throughout my pregnancy, then after Nola was born in January 2019, things felt more difficult.
“I began compensating for sleepless nights with early morning chocolate bars and ready meals for dinner, and the number on the scales started to rise.”
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But Hannah got back on track during the Covid-19 lockdown, managing to lose another 4.5lbs.
She says she feels proud to be setting her young daughter a healthy example as she grows up.
Hannah, speaking in the September/October issue of Slimming World Magazine, added: “While I found myself falling back into old habits at first, I reminded myself of how much better I felt when I followed the plan.
“With the support and advice I got every week from my consultant and fellow members, I found my motivation and got straight back on track – I feel a lot healthier.
“Even though she’s just 19 months old, Nola is already enjoying a healthy lifestyle – and helping me to maintain mine.
“She’ll often persuade me away from my laptop to take her for a walk. And, as she likes a lot of the same veg as me, like sugar snap peas and broccoli, it encourages me and AJ to cook them.
“It feels great to know I’m setting her a positive, healthy example.
“I love the fact that when Nola looks back on pictures of herself growing up, she’ll see me there in the frame with her.”