I’ve always struggled with my weight. I’ve been self-conscious of it for as long as I can remember. It’s such a shame really, as I look back at photos of myself from 7 or more years ago, and I really wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t ever one of the skinny girls, I genuinely do have a large bone structure, but I wasn’t fat!

Now, however, I would give anything to be back to that size. If you calculate my BMI I am medically classed as obese. Obese! That word really stings. Especially as I am only 5ft 3 and a size 12 on top, 14 on bottom. To me, a size 12/14 shouldn’t equate to being obese. But apparently, it does.

The recent weight gain that has seen me get to my heaviest yet I have attributed to two things. The first was giving up smoking four years ago. When I quit smoking, I did what many ex-smokers do and replaced cigarettes with food. The weight piled on.

I also believe that since quitting, my metabolism has changed and the efficiency with which my body works off energy has declined, so any food I do eat is far more likely to stick around than before. A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips indeed. Also, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger!

The second contribution to my expanding waistline and sizeable arse was pregnancy. During those 9 months, I gave myself a free pass to just eat whatever the hell I wanted. I did eat healthy foods too but heavily subsidised this with junk food.

My husband, who I now believe had a drinking problem, wouldn’t help the matter. Each evening he’d go to the off-licence and get himself a bottle of wine. I’m not much of a drinker myself, so he’d buy me a family sized packet of chocolate to ‘keep me sweet’ and not complain that he was drinking yet again. I’m not one that has ever been able to not eat chocolate if it is there. So, more weight piled on.

After giving birth I tried to lose weight. I exercised but this wasn’t easy given the breastfeeding, the sleepless nights and having had a caesarean certainly didn’t help. My husband would constantly berate me to exercise. He would often refer to my size to encourage me to get moving and do more. As if I needed to be told that I needed to lose weight!

When our son was 10 months old I returned to work full time. At this point, my husband worked away during the week. He would tell me that after work, I should pick our son up from nursery and drive the 20 minutes to some nearby woods, and walk the dog. Every day.

This was obviously coming from a man who had no idea what it was like to look after a 10-month-old on your own, whilst working a full-time job and maintaining a household, cooking meals, doing laundry, etc. Yet somehow, I was to also find the time to make myself skinny again. He used to tell me that if I got down to 60kg he’d get me a boob job. How I didn’t punch him in the balls right there and then, I will never know. He is now, thankfully, an ex-husband.

Today, my son is approaching his third birthday. I’m still overweight and unhappy about it. However, this is the beginning of a new chapter. Fed up with cringing at photographs of myself. Fed up with the spare tyre draped around my waistline. Prioritising my health and happiness so I can live a long and healthy life with my little boy. I vow to shift the weight and become the happy person I know I can be.

Last week I joined Slimming World. I’ll be documenting my progress as another way to keep myself accountable.

Here I go.