Why didn’t Dad know us?
Me and my girls lost the weight of a whole person... and had a right laugh doing it!
Arriving at the airport in London, the cold air felt like a sheet of ice against my skin.
‘It’s so cold,’ I shivered to my husband Kim, 53.
It was November 2011, and after 12 years living in Tenerife, we were moving back to the UK to be close to our daughters Nicola and Julie, and our six grandkids.
‘Better get used to it, Mum,’ smiled my eldest, Nicola, 36, as she piled our bags into her car.
Still, I knew we’d made the right decision.
I lit a cigarette, blowing the smoke out the car window.
‘Mum!’ cried Nicola. ‘Not in the car.’
‘Oh, sorry love,’ I said, quickly putting it out.
‘You should give up,’ said Nicola. ‘I have.’ I was shocked. Nicola had always loved smoking, just as much as me.
If she could do it, maybe it was time to change my ways.
As the weeks passed, I cut down on the smoking, but began eating family-sized bars of Dairy Milk instead. Then it was a big roast dinner every Sunday and takeaways with Kim during the week.
By February 2012, I’d managed to quit the cigs. Only, I had another problem. ‘God, I’ve got fat,’ I groaned to Nicola and Julie as we tried on clothes out shopping.
I hadn’t weighed myself in years, but I must have put on around 3st in as many months.
‘Tell me about it,’ frowned Nicola, trying desperately to squeeze into a size-20 dress.
‘Yep,’ agreed Julie, a size-18. ‘Nothing fits.’
‘I give up!’ cried Nicola, tugging off the dress and collapsing in a heap on the changing room floor. We burst out laughing. ‘What a bunch of fatties,’ I chuckled. ‘Come on, let’s get out of here.’
With Kim looking after the kids for the afternoon, we headed to the pub for a slap-up lunch.
Kim and I had decided to leave London and set up home in Worcester.
‘I’ll miss you girls,’ I said, tears filling my eyes as I stuffed a huge spoonful of pudding into my mouth.
‘Us, too,’ sobbed Nicola, putting her hand on mine.
‘You’ll come and visit us, won’t you?’ I asked.
‘Try keeping us away,’ promised Julie.
Over the next few years, we saw each other as much as possible.
Then, in April 2016, Nicola decided to move to Worcester with the kids.
I got her a job working early shifts with me in the local supermarket.
Every morning, we’d finish at 11am and head back to mine for a greasy fry-up.
But we both felt exhausted all the time. Hardly any energy. ‘I don’t want us to be a fat family,’ Nicola sighed to me one morning.
My weight had been making me miserable, too.
I was sick of hiding away in leggings and baggy tops, my confidence at an all-time low.
That January, in 2017, we both had a New Year’s resolution.
‘We’re going to lose weight,’ I told Kim.
‘No more unhealthy food,’ vowed Nicola.
‘Does this mean I’m going to starve?’ frowned Kim. We laughed. But we were determined. Especially when we dusted off my bathroom scales and weighed ourselves.
I was tipping the scales at 17st 9lb while Nicola weighed in at 16st 2lb.
Over the next few months, we managed to lose a stone each, but spent most of the time moaning about being hungry.
‘I can’t even look at another salad,’ despaired Nicola, close to tears.
‘I’d do anything for some chocolate,’ I cried. We needed help. So in April 2017, we joined our local Slimming World group.
We hit it off with the other members and learnt how to cook healthy versions of our favourite meals.
‘It’s not a competition, Mum!’ cried Nicola at a weigh-in a few weeks later.
I’d lost 5lb and had just been named Slimmer of the Week.
‘It is!’ I shot back, waving my
She collapsed in a heap on the changing room floor!
certificate proudly in the air.
The whole room erupted in laughter.
‘You’re like two peas in a pod,’ said our consultant. ‘Two fat peas,’ I joked. Weeks later, Julie moved to Worcester, too.
I was so happy to have both my girls close by.
The day she moved in, we helped heave boxes into her new home.
‘You two look amazing,’ she sighed. ‘I really don’t want to be the last fatty in the family.’
Julie had always been the slimmest one, at 13st 13lb.
But since Nicola and I had been competing with each other to lose weight, we’d noticeably slimmed down. Had lost a good couple of stone each.
‘If we can do it, you can,’ I told Julie.
There and then, all three of us made a pact. We’d lose weight together. Using Slimming World recipes, we took turns cooking our favourite ‘fakeaways’ and having girly nights in.
We had chicken curries, Chinese food and even pizza and sweet potato chips, all cooked from scratch.
We’d watch a horror film afterwards, which usually put us off dessert!
We even started going to the gym together.
Stepping on the scales every week, we were stunned by how much weight we’d lost.
Now, I’m 11st 1lb and a size-14, Nicola is 10st 13lb and a size-10, while Julie is 9st 7lb and a size-8.
That means we’ve lost over 16st between us! More than a whole person!
We socialise more now and love going shopping for posh frocks, easily slipping into gorgeous dresses.
Recently, Kim drove straight past us in the street, despite us waving frantically.
He didn’t recognise his wife and daughters!
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the close bond between us. We’re so lucky to have each other.
The three slim amigos!