Why didn’t Dad know us?

Me and my girls lost the weight of a whole per­son... and had a right laugh do­ing it!

Chat - - Contents - Sheila Hag­gerty, 62, Worces­ter

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!

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