Mum of two Louise Macleod felt so self-conscious about her weight, she refused to take her two boys swimming.
After reaching her Target weight, she found the courage to go swimming again and do more things with her family. “Being slim has given me a totally different outlook on life,” says Louise.
“I do more things with my family now. When my husband suggests we all go to the cinema or out for a meal, instead of persuading him that it’s better to stay in with a DVD and a takeaway, I’ll run up the stairs, change into one of my many new outfits, apply my make-up and that’s me. Ready for a night out with my boys!”
Initially a size 20, Louise has now turned into a stunning cover girl with a beautiful smile.
“I’ve lost almost seven stone,” revealed a very happy Louise, who weighed 17 stone, 9lb when she originally joined Scottish Slimmers.
“Having been a size 16 before I had my first child, Jonathon, I thought I was destined to always be big,” says Louise. “I put on weight when I was pregnant with Jonathon and, although I tried several times to lose my baby weight, by the time I had my second son, Daniel, I was a size 20.
“I was embarrassed about being so heavy but it wasn’t until Daniel was a couple of months old and someone jokingly pointed out that I had ‘cankles’ rather than ankles, that I finally I decided enough was enough.”
Before becoming pregnant with baby number two, Louise had tried many different ways to lose weight.
"This time, it was different. This time I was in the right frame of mind. I was determined that I was going to get my weight down and keep it down – no matter how long it took me."
Louise admits that one of the main reasons she had gained weight was because, as a nurse, she often worked night shifts, surrounded by cakes, biscuits and chocolates given to the nurses by patients. “And I do love cakes,” laughs Louise.
With Scottish Slimmers she learned how to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet. "Nothing was banned, not even cakes, as long as you didn’t go over your daily Checks allowance,” says Louise.
By keeping careful count of the number of Checks she was eating, Louise soon found that her weight was dropping. She also noticed an improvement in her skin and her health.
“I had high blood pressure but, as my weight dropped, so did my blood pressure, which was a great bonus.”
As time went on Louise never lost the opportunity to reward herself with new outfits which motivated to stay on track. “Every time I lost another stone, I treated myself to a new outfit. Having gone from a size 20 to a size 18 and then a size 16, I could hardly believe it when I was able to treat myself to a size 14 outfit,” she recalled.
“Not only am I slimmer than I ever imagined possible, I never imagined this was the shape I was under all those extra pounds,” she says.
“When I look in the mirror now, my first thought is ‘Where has the big fat blob gone?’ Then I remember – this is the new me... And the new me is here to stay!”