Pounding up the stairs, I crept into my room and closed my door quietly, checking for any sounds of my parents on the landing. Slowly zipping open my school bag and pulling out a multipack of crisps and two chocolate bars, I pulled up my mattress and stuffed them underneath, ready to gorge on later.
It was April 2008 and aged 15, that was my after-school routine spending my pocket money on treats from the local shop or supermarket then hiding them in my bedroom before eating everything I’d bought after dinner.
Mum had no idea about my nightly picnics, but she must have suspected something was up because I was already a size 16-18, and weighed around 17th. I was so overweight that my school uniform had to be specially made and Mum would sometimes ask what I’d eaten that day for lunch or suggest I join her for a walk. ‘No thanks,’ I’d smile, heading to my room, excited about eating my evening snacks.
I didn’t like being big, but eating was a way to comfort myself. At school, the girls would make fun of me behind my back, and the boys pretended they fancied me for a dare. ‘As if I’d want to go out with you,’ they’d laugh later as I’d try to hide my bright red cheeks, mortified.
Leaving school, I got a job as a nanny and because I’d always loved children and dreamt about one day being a mum myself, I enjoyed every minute of it. Only, it gave me more disposable income, and after work I’d order a huge pizza, garlic bread and a whole cheesecake for myself. By the time I reached my 21st birthday in February 2013, I had no idea how much I weighed or what size I was, but I was struggling to nd clothes that fitted me, even in plus-size shops.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
WHERE'S THE JUSTICE?
After her sister was killed, Louisa Smith, 38, vowed she would never stop fighting for change
Paddy & Christine ‘IT'S AN UPHILL STRUGGLE'
Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine have spoken candidly about the difficulties of parenting their three children – who all have autism – during the recent lockdown, and how their daughter Felicity, four, and twins Penelope and Leo, seven, regressed when they were cut off from school.
MIND OF MY OWN
The Woman’s Own columnist has her say on guilty pleasures and fat shaming...
Lorraine I'M A VICTIM
Lorraine Kelly has some honest revelations
Stacey & Joe - BABY JOY FOR STACEY?
Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash must be on cloud nine at the moment. They’ve just moved into their dream home, ‘Pickle Cottage’, with their son, Rex, four months, and Stacey’s sons, Zachary, 13, and Leighton, eight, from previous relationships, and are planning their wedding for July.
WHY WERE THEY FORGOTTEN?
Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were stabbed to death in a park by a stranger, yet their deaths went almost unrecorded
Stacey & Joe: ‘IT'S BEEN STRESSFUL!'
As Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash prepare for their big day, we can reveal the plans have been causing tension
SEPARATED BY A WINDOW AS I SAID GOODBYE
Despite all the heartbreak he and his family have been through, Nick Harris considers himself a lucky man
PEOPLE USED TO LAUGH AT ME: BUT NOT ANYMORE
Alida Dreyer, 28, was caught in a binge-eating trap she thought she’d never be free from
Piers & Susanna - WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON
Woman’s Own reveals the truth about the former GMB co-hosts’ rocky relationship...
The size, style and color you want—for less than the cost of plastic shutters
The leviathan from a winter-long dream
Better known for its salmon and whisky, Aberdeenshire also offers superb brown trout fishing, and Julian Schmechel lands a monster
Delphiniums and lupins
Q I love delphiniums and lupins, but seem to have trouble keeping them going. They last for a few years, but then just disappear. I don’t want to give up, so what should I do? Any advice you can give would be most welcome. Maggie Douglas, Shap, Cumbria
DON'T TELL ME I CAN'T… …love my curves
After a lifelong battle with her weight, Lizi Jackson-Barrett has embraced her body
THAT SUNNY SUNFLOWER FEELING
Whether the sun is shining or not, says Tony Flanagan, bring some sunshine into your life with sunflowers
Rizzini Grand Regal 28-bore
Mike Yardley is impressed by this pretty gun from the Italian maker, which is particularly well engraved and balanced. Missing little, he declares it one of the best 28-bores he has tested
Ruth looks at greenhouses and their smaller alternatives
Appetite for destruction
Hungry herring gulls threaten Toby’s fish. Luckily, he has acquired a feathery plant that promises to save the day…
It was all or NOTHING
Hurtling towards a health crisis, Elaine Watson took drastic action
Power meets precision
FOR Bass definition, airiness, resolution, coherence across the drivers AGAINST If you have the space and budget, nothing!