Glum pud­ding

Nicky pud the next, Dumped one year, a puffy luck with her Christ­mases. didn’t have the best of treats to 10 a day! Time to limit her choc­cie

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Plump and dumped

There may have been no snow on the ground. But, read­ing the text, my blood turned to ice.

I’m sorry, I’m not com­ing

back, it read.

I slumped on to the sofa, tears stream­ing down my face.

Dis­as­ter. My part­ner, Matt, was leav­ing me.

‘How can this be hap­pen­ing?’ I sobbed. Just days ear­lier, we’d cel­e­brated Christ­mas 2014, the first to­gether in our first home.

We’d been with each other for two years, af­ter I’d split with my chil­dren’s dad six years be­fore.

At 20, I’d mar­ried too young, then had my daugh­ter, Megan, now nine, and son Dy­lan, five.

Things hadn’t al­ways been easy. I’d suf­fered bad post­na­tal de­pres­sion with both ba­bies and, as a re­sult, my weight had soared and my self-es­teem plum­meted.

Who knows what I weighed? I never got on the scales but, at 5ft 1in, ev­ery pound showed.

As an emo­tional eater, there wasn’t a life prob­lem that a gi­ant slab of Dairy Milk couldn’t fix!

And I’d need a life­time’s sup­ply to sort this mess out. I’d thought I would have a great fu­ture with

Matt in our lovely new three-bed semi.

‘So much for a happy new year,’ I sobbed.

My heart was in tat­ters. And how was I go­ing to pay for the house?

I knew there was no point in beg­ging Matt to re­think things. He’d made his mind up.

My heart break­ing,

I grabbed the Qual­ity Street tin and un­wrapped choco­late af­ter choco­late.

I barely tasted them through my salty tears.

It was only the kids who kept me go­ing.

Well, them and food.

As I limped into 2015,

I just about man­aged to hold it to­gether at work, as a con­trol room op­er­a­tor for the fire ser­vice.

I’d never been a great cook. Din­ner for the chil­dren was of­ten a jar of Dolmio tipped over some pasta, or fish fin­gers and chips.

But at night, once the kids were asleep, I’d slob out on the sofa, binge-watch a box set like Broad­church… and slowly ex­pand.

I’d dial out for a pizza and, at mid­night, I’d be scoff­ing a large Hawai­ian with cheesy gar­lic bread, fol­lowed by a Kit Kat Chunky.

For those few min­utes – and, given my vac­uum-cleaner mouth, they re­ally were just a few – the food edged the sad­ness away. But, af­ter the first rush, hol­low­ness en­gulfed me again…

Over the next weeks, I had to size up my black work trousers from 14 to 16, then 18, 20…

‘I’ve got ter­ri­ble acid re­flux,’ I moaned to my mum, Ann, 62, as I popped an­other Gavis­con tablet. ‘And my IBS is bad, too, at the minute…’

‘I’m sure it’ll pass,’ she said. ‘Prob­a­bly just stress. How are you feel­ing?’

‘OK,’ I sighed, delv­ing into a plate of bis­cuits.

Thank­fully, I man­aged to hang on to the house. And, af­ter six months, my heart­break eased.

Be­fore I knew it, Christ­mas was here again. Of course, it was hard not to think about Matt and what had hap­pened the year be­fore.

‘I won’t let it get me down,’ I vowed to Mum.

Me and the kids went off to her place in Kent, where she and my dad, Tony, 75, al­ways laid on an amaz­ing buf­fet…

‘You’ve done us proud,’ I smiled, slic­ing off a doorstop of savoury quiche.

In early 2016, I started dat­ing an old friend, Richard Brent. He was 39, and we’d seen each other briefly be­fore Matt came on the scene. We’d al­ways kept in touch, though.

‘This is a match made in heaven,’ I gig­gled. Richard was a chef, and I be­came his best diner!

But he was shocked by how lit­tle I knew about food.

‘I’ve only just got my head round the dif­fer­ence be­tween a parsnip and a turnip,’ I ad­mit­ted. Do­ing shift work at the con­trol cen­tre, me and my work­mates took turns to cook meals.

One night, I’d taken in a cauliflower. ‘How do I pre­pare this cab­bage?’ I’d asked the oth­ers.

‘Nicky, that’s a cauliflower!’ laughed a col­league.

‘Blimey, you are bad,’ teased Richard when I told him. ‘Leave

Megan and Dy­lan were all that kept me go­ing Christ­mas 2017 with Megan: I’m look­ing a whole lot slim­mer! I’m an emo­tional eater, that’s how I got big­ger I’ve lost nearly 6st, and 4st! Richard has shed over

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